30 minutes into my flight and I’m wrapped in a cheap dark blue, give-away blanket, looking at the glowing seat belt fastened sign above my head. I take a deep breath and accept the fact that my luggage will more likely than not be lost in 3.5 hours when I get off the plane. Great.
Let’s rewind to an hour before this moment… I’m sitting in the way-too-air-conditioned gate to board my plane to return home. I’m tired and upset. I just spent the last half hour trying to get myself together and not cry from the fact that my trip to see my boyfriend has ended, and I have to fly back home without him.
Due to the fact that I’m freezing cold, I decide to go change into my new gray sweatpants my mom had bought me for my birthday and wander to the closest coffee place. I stand in line and decide what to get that will warm me without keeping me awake the entire flight. I order something called a “Vanilla Steamer” off of the limited airport menu. I take my steamer, return to my gate, and sip on it as I let the heat from the cup warm my hands. 10 minutes after I drink my steamer, I feel nauseous. I feel sick when I drink certain kinds of milk, like whole milk, and I immediately regret getting it.
At this point, I’m worrying because my plane had already started boarding, but luckily there are 2 more boarding groups ahead of me. I take some anti-nausea medicine and sip on a little water from my bag. I get nauseous quite often, but I’m usually fine and it passes. Remembering that, I get in line to board my plane. As I’m in line, I decide that I do not feel well at all. I start to overheat and feel like I’m moving in slow motion. When the attendant scans my boarding pass, an employee tells her that no more carry on bags can fit in the overhead compartment. She puts a tag on my bag and hands me the remaining part of the tag which I keep. She says someone will check my bag when I descend the ramp.
I start to walk down the ramp to get on the plane and I see the long line of people who boarded more than 5 minutes before I did. I keep getting hotter and hotter and my vision starts to blur. I can tell that I’m going to get sick in about 30 seconds and I feel the color drain completely out of my face.
In a haze, I shove past everyone in line, hand a guy who I’m not sure even works my the airline (but has a carry-on with a checked luggage tag too) my bag and ask him to check it for me. I heard a yes and continued excusing myself down the line and into the plane in a hurry. I spot a flight attendant and tell her I need to use the bathroom. She looked worried and told me to go right ahead. After I get sick, I splash some cold water on my face and lean against the lavatory door.
At this moment, I realize that I have no idea where my bag is. I come out of the stall and see that the airplane door has shut and I have no other option but to work my way to my seat. As I’m walking down the isle, I’m scanning the overhead compartments for my bag, kicking myself for not putting a travel tag with my information on it on my bag. I don’t see it anywhere. I sit down and fall asleep during takeoff.
A half hour into my flight, I wake up chilly and worried about my bag. A flight attendant walks by and I try to explain to her that I had to check my bag, but I don’t know if it is checked. She tells me that when we land, my bag will be at baggage claim, and continues on down the isle. This is when I just accept that my bag is lost.
During the flight, I doze off and wake up several times. For a good 15 minutes there was horrible turbulence and I could’ve sworn I was going to end up on a real version of Lost. I begin to think about the expense of everything in my probably lost carry on, and become super bummed that I didn’t just take my carry on with me into the bathroom when I got sick. At least the I’d know where it’s at. After the turbulence and worrying about my bag, I fall back asleep and jolt awake when the plane lands on the runway.
After I get off the plane, I make my way to baggage claim. After waiting for 20 minutes, I see my little gray bag emerge. I’m shocked that it isn’t lost. I don’t know if that man worked for the airline, or was just a kind stranger, but I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am for him making sure my bag ended up on the plane.
Sir, if you’re out there reading this, thank you so much. I’m glad to know that there are still kind strangers out there.