So I am on an insane trip and I want to share some great and not so great experiences with Lufthansa. Madrid, Pisa, Vienna, Amsterdam in 10 days. I started on Sunday and headed off to Munich, with a great Lufthansa flight to Madrid. It takes ages to get anywhere from Innsbruck (due to the train to Munich airport and trying to get there 2 hours before your flight) so 9 hours after I left Innsbruck I arrived in my hotel room. On Tuesday I knew I would be running alot. A morning of meetings in the south of Madrid, hurriedly trying to get to the airport on the north of the city, 2 hours waiting around, 2.5 hours flight to Munich, 45 minutes to change planes, and then 90 minutes to Pisa. I left the university buildings at 14:30 by taxi thinking I would take at least an hour (and maybe more) to get to the airport. In fact I made it in 20 minutes! 3 hours and 10 minutes before my flight I thought I would try to get rid of my luggage, so i checked in with Lufthansa's electronic ticketing machines. When giving the bag to the nice "tag and drop" lady, she said "Oh you have a really tight changeover in Munich" and then she proceeded to check (without me having to ask) if she could get me on an earlier flight. "Yes!" she cried (or something to that effect), "I can get you on an earlier flight!". I was delighted, although a little worried, when she said it had started boarding 5 minutes previously. New boarding card in hand I ran to security, which was devoid of life (passenger wise). 60 seconds later I was on the other side of security, wondering if somehow I had blacked out and missed something. 10 meters to my left was my gate (again devoid of life). I walked up, handed over my boarding pass, and proceeded down the tunnel. Expecting my ticket to say 29B or some other uncomfortable seat location I checked my ticket. "4C!" I cried (no really I did!). Having spent precisely 17 minutes in Madrid airport I boarded the plane, took my seat (an aisle seat with the middle and window seat free), and they closed the door.
At 17:30 I was standing in Munich airport thinking about how great lufthansa was. What an amazing girl to get me on an earlier flight, just minutes after I had walked into the airport! While enjoying the free coffee and newspapers in Lufthansa Terminal 2 (I kid you not!), I was surprised to find a small leprechaun on my shoulder. "I bet your luggage is still in Madrid" he jeered, "they could never have got it on the plane at such short notice!". The leprechaun accompanied me on to my Pisa flight 3 hours later. I tried to explain to him that my bag would probably come on the flight that I was supposed to be on originally and it would make it on to this flight for me to collect in Pisa, but he just would not listen.
11pm in Pisa was pretty lonely, we all left the plane, took our little bus to the terminal, and one by one everyone collected their bags. That is except for me. I watched the belt go around empty for 10 minutes hoping that it would appear, but eventually I caved in and went to the "Baggage Tracking" desk. The lady asked all the usual questions: color? type? zips? handles? wheels?. Its good to know that my bag is officially classified as PU22HWX or a type 22 purple suitcase with a zip, handle, and wheels. I was handed my receipt, which is now entitled a "Baggage Irregularity" document. Lufthansa even apologies by saying "We would like to apologies for your baggage irregularity, we will attempt to find your luggage as soon as possible". If your trying to find it, at least admit that you lost it!! The girl at the desk was nice and I tried really hard not to get mad (at the end of the day its not her fault). She told me the bag was still in Madrid and that it was scheduled to come on the same flight the next day. Armed with my Lufthansa over night kit I headed to the hotel, wondering how I was going to give my workshop presentation the next day in the same travel weary clothes.... The nice taxi driver explained that the next day was a bank holiday, so there went any plan to buy something clean... I don't know if you have experienced a day in Pisa with temperature at 32 degrees in clothes that desperately need to be changed. But its pretty unpleasant. The bag did arrive the next night, the airport refused to send it to the hotel at 23:30 (only the next morning) so I had to collect it. Today I have clean clothes and it feels good. I have another 3 flights and 4 trains in the next 5 days. I just pray my bag makes it!