This seemingly uneventful flight from Frankfurt to Gothenburg was especially spiced up by a delayed baggage that I had to recover urgently before leaving early the next morning. Will Lufthansa be more competent than TAP in this area? You will find out at the end of this post.
It is in total carefreeness that I leave the Panorama lounge a few minutes before the boarding time of my flight to Gothenburg to reach my boarding gate located nearby. At this moment I have no idea that the end of my day will be quite tense as well as the morning of the next day!
As a reminder the air routing of this trip.
And you will find the list of all the articles about this trip in Malaysia at the bottom of the page.
Before leaving the lounge I enjoy the windows and the view of this Lufthansa A340-300 in Star Alliance livery.
On the way to my boarding gate I also spotted two Auntie Luftie’s 747s, one with the old livery and the other with the new one.
A photo that is becoming rare for many airlines but not at Lufthansa which not only decided to continue to operate its jumbos but also announced that they will be retrofitted with the new Allegris cabins.
There is no rush at the gate and no announcement is made.
We will finally wait 20 minutes before boarding and this without any announcement being made. I will learn later that there was a change of aircraft, which will explain my future setbacks.
We end up embarking in the calm and the strictest respect of the priorities.
Nothing new here, we find this good old NEK seat not uncomfortable at all but still without power outlets. The middle seat will of course be neutralized in business class.
Always comfortable legroom in Lufthansa business class.
There will be 5 rows of business class on this flight.
The flight and the service
We thus leave with a good twenty minutes of delay.
Shortly after takeoff, the service begins and the meal trays are brought to us.
Confirmation once again that the quantities served have indeed decreased since the COVID.
It is a salad with shrimps and I do not know what sauce. I am not too convinced at first but it turns out to be fresh and very tasty.
The mousse served for dessert is unpretentious but ultimately good and light.
Once again, as during my Paris-Frankfurt trip, the drinks will be served when I will have almost finished eating. But I would have several refills of wine.
I take advantage of the neutralization of the central seat to make myself comfortable ….
The flight continued calmly until the approach to Gothenburg.
Very nice, young and smiling hostess. Excellent service except for the delay for the drinks
An uneventful descent and landing, and we arrive in Gothenburg. And that’s where things get complicated….
As soon as I deactivate the airplane mode on my phone I see this message:
An email confirms that my baggage has not been loaded and will be put on the next flight. All of a sudden my misadventure with TAP with a luggage first delayed then stolen comes back to my mind.
I fill out the online form to identify my suitcase (not useful since they have already identified and rerouted it but mandatory) and especially give a delivery address.
It is thus without bag that I go to the hotel and I dare to hope that it is delivered to me in the evening. For the anecdote Gothenburg is under snow and my warm sweaters were in the suitcase.
Waiting for delayed luggage
In the meantime I can’t do much except wait and check the status of my bag online. It is well programmed for the evening flight and unlike with TAP, I have reliable information in real time.
My luggage has been loaded, it will arrive in the early evening and will be delivered to me. I expect to find it when I get back from the restaurant.
My hopes are a bit dashed during dinner. A friend who lives in Gothenburg and has had this experience tells me thatthere is little chance that they will deliver the luggage in the evening and that when it had happened to her she had once taken a cab to pick up her bag which she needed urgently.
During the meal my Airtag informs me that my bag arrived well in Gothenburg. That’s a start. But it doesn’t move from the airport as I feared.
I have to wait for the next morning and it’s a lesser evil, you might say. Yes, but there is a problem: I take off for Copenhagen and then Singapore the next morning at 9:40 am and at this point I have several options.
1°) Waiting at the hotel until the last minute but it seems risky to me.
2°) To go and get my suitcase at the airport myself, hoping that we don’t meet on the road and that it doesn’t go to the hotel while I go to the airport.
I choose the second option and to avoid any problem I decide to leave the hotel at dawn, that is to say around 6:00 am.
When I arrive at the airport I go to the information desk to find out who is the Lufthansa handler in Gothenburg. There are indeed two on the platform: Menzies and Aviator. Aviator is in charge of Lufthansa but, unluckily, only Menzies has a counter accessible to the public. I was advised to go to the check-in desks to find someone to talk to.
No Lufthansa flight scheduled at this time so no one at the counter. So I try something else: I go to the SAS counter where I have to check-in for my morning flight.
“Hello Madam, I am checking in for flight xxxx but I have a problem. I have a suitcase that was delayed on my Lufthansa flight last night and my Airtag tells me that it is in the baggage claim area“.
“But there’s no problem, I’ll go with you“.
The nice lady warns her colleagues that she is closing her check-in counter for a few minutes and asks me to follow her. Luckily, in Gothenburg it’s also Aviator that does SAS handling so I found the right person.
With her badge she opens the door to the baggage claim area and I follow her. I’m not at all sure that it’s legal and that I have the right to go airside like that without control but I’m not being picky. I will be confirmed that it is a common practice here in this kind of situation to help the passengers.
I tell her about my misadventure with TAP and she looks at me with a big smile.
“Your luggage was delayed and handled by a German airline and now it is the Swedes who finish the job. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.”.
There we find an impressive number of luggage stored next to a luggage conveyor. I imagine that following the change of aircraft, all the luggage of my flight of the day before had the same fate.
How can I find mine? I look at them one by one and can’t find it. However, my Airtag tells me that I am a few meters away from it. It still worries me a bit.
Finally I make the airtag ring and we listen carefully…. we end up locating it on the other side of a locked gate that gives access to the handler’s office. She has the key, she opens and we find my suitcase.
There was a label on it saying: “priority treatment tomorrow morning, passenger has an early flight”. Indeed they had not found a courier the day before and passed the case to the morning team…which only arrives at 8 or 9 am so too late for me.
I notice that only the “urgent” suitcases were in a closed room and it makes me think about my history with TAP. My savior smiled:
“But you are in Sweden here, who would steal a bag?“.
Well yes, but even though I spend a lot of time in Sweden my French reflexes remain.
Anyway, the problem is solved and I can go check-in quietly.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the way in which this has been resolved by the various protagonists
- Lufthansa alerted me to the situation before I knew it and gave me a real-time status of operations.
- The Aviator agent who accompanied me to retrieve my suitcase by letting me Airside.
If I compare with the amateurism or even the contempt of TAP, it is night and day in terms of professionalism.
At the most they could have tried to deliver it the night before but as my friend said to me “don’t worry you’re in Sweden here, everything will be well done but they are not stressed like you in Paris, just be patient”.
At that moment I can’t know that history will repeat less than 24 hours later.
A flight without much interest but a problem with my suitcase spiced up my day and finally ended well. I often say that the happiest passenger is not the one who didn’t have a problem but the one who did and saw everyone mobilize to solve it.
In this case I am a happy and fulfilled passenger!