My daughter reminded me that I haven't blogged all week. I know, but I have reasons and excuses.
Monday morning I headed to the Buffalo airport. I had a large suitcase, my usual carry-on, and my laptop wheelie which was stuffed with junk along with an extra laptop, making it heavier than usual. I had much more luggage than normal, but I was flying back to Mexico after my Oklahoma trip so had to haul everything with me.
On check-in I was told that my large suitcase was 9 pounds overweight. I took out a bunch of books and stuffed them into my carry-on, bringing the large suitcase down to 52 pounds, which they said was ok. But now the carry-on weighed 40 lbs and there was no way I was prepared to haul that through connecting airports or try to put it up in the overhead bin, so I checked it too. Cost for checking two bags - $40.
While I waited for my flight in the club lounge, I called Dell to order a new battery for my laptop. They didn't have any in stock, but gave me the number of a partner supplier. They also told me the part number to order. Oh - they also asked for my express service code. I refused to give it. My laptop was across the room and what did it matter anyway, since it wasn't under warranty?
I called the partner provider and they had one battery of that model number...and...they would have it to Oklahoma by the next day - $169 for the battery and another $30 to ship overnight. So I flew to Oklahoma thinking everything was coming together. And was so pleased to find that both my checked bags arrived with me, and only a little damage was done to the brand new big suitcase - a rip in the back and the new luggage tag had disappeared. The suitcase was not a cheap one, even though I got it on sale. I will never understand why it is ok for airlines to ruin your luggage and they do not have to reimburse you. One reason I stopped buying good luggage - it doesn't seem to matter if it's cheap or not, the airlines have ruined zippers, broken wheels and handles, and bent the interior frame. And they are "not liable" for exterior damage.
Anyway...I hauled all the bags to the rental car area across the road from the airport. The first vehicle, an SUV, smelled like smoke, so I hauled the luggage back to the rental counter and asked for a different vehicle. No problem, except it was much farther away so I had aching shoulders by the time I got to the new car and loaded the trunk with the heavy bags.
Arriving at my hotel for the night, I left the large bag in the car but took the other two inside with me. Up to the third floor, at the very end of the hall. They were so happy to give me this upgraded room but I would have preferred the first room by the elevator rather than pull the bags down a carpeted hallway.
The next morning I checked out with my luggage, and drove 2 hours to my client, arriving by 8 am. In the afternoon my battery arrived, but when I tore into the box, I realized with a sick feeling that the battery was not the correct one - the one they sent was huge. I called to report the problem but was told that Dell had given me the wrong part number, it was for a model one step below the one I have. I would be charged a 25% restocking fee, and they did not have the battery I really needed in stock. I called Dell to make a complaint but got interrupted with work and up to this moment still have not had time to call back to tell them my tale of woes. But they WILL hear about this!
Tuesday night I stayed in a B&B in town as the hotels were sold out. Of course I was on the second floor, and there was no elevator. The woman who checked me in helped me carry my bags upstairs (and I left the big one in the trunk), but in the morning I was on my own to carry both bags back down. I worked 10 hrs at the client and then drove 2 hrs, in the dark (which I hate - I don't have great night vision) to get back to the hotel near the Tulsa airport. Repeat the hauling of the bags above, but at least this time I was on the first floor and not far down the hallway. Checked out in the morning, returned the rental car, and pulled all the bags back across the road to the airport where I was too early for check-in (it was 4 am).
On check-in (with a different airline), I was told that my large bag was 2 pounds overweight (which I knew, since that was what it was when I flew to Oklahoma). They were going to charge me $125 if I did not get rid of the 2 lbs, so I pulled a couple of towels out of the bag and somehow stuffed them into the bulging carry-on that was no longer going to be a carry-on. However, no charge to check these bags - sort of a surprise, but I didn't question it.
Arriving in Cancun, both bags arrived with me - yeah! I got the green light and my pre-arranged ride was waiting for me. But...NOBODY helped me with my bags! I hauled them to the van myself, I'm still not sure why. However, that was the LAST time I handled the bags - from then on someone was there willing and able to help. And it was worth it - the three pictures I had in the large suitcase arrived intact, and I think this is the first time I've succeeded in bringing glass without it being broken. And Loco was thrilled with his Jerky Treats.
Now I just need a massage and I should be as good as new. Of course, I am still here without a battery. But I'm HERE, and at the moment, that's enough.