Flying to Barcelona – Part 3

« Read Part 2 before continuing

The Iberia ticket agent said my flight hadn’t been assigned a gate so I would have to check the monitors. I had 2 hours or so to wait so I headed to Terminal 2. I didn’t have access to the lounge on that leg since I was flying coach and Iberia is partners with American not United. I found a waiting area and waited.

Departure time came and we boarded. Boarding took forever but I’m not sure why. I was one of the first people on the plane and it seemed like almost an hour passed before the door was closed. I was seated in the airplane equivalent of the nosebleed section (28C of 35 rows) but was thankful there was no one in the middle seat. In fact, I was in the only row in that half of the plane that had an empty chaise lounge seat.

I was definitely cramped by my Economy Plus and exit row standards. Further, the guy in front of me tried his hardest to convert his seat into a pool-side chaise lounge much to the detriment of my knees. At first I didn’t mind since it gave me a way to entertain myself during the first 15 minutes or so after we reached cruising altitude. Each time he dozed off I would bang the seat with one of my knees. That got boring, he was getting pissed and I got drowsy.

beverage service cart I must have dozed off as well at some point since my next memory was excruciating, piercing and throbbing pain in my right shoulder. It was the telltale symptom of getting banged in the shoulder by the beverage service cart. Payback is a beotch. That’s why I prefer the window seat.

The other reason is whenever I sit on the aisle, the other people in my row have bladders the size of a kidney bean so I have to keep getting up to let them out. Thankfully, the woman in the window seat on this flight didn’t have to go. My shoulder and knees weren’t very thankful about anything, however.

We landed, de-planed and queued for customs. (“Queued” is British for “Got in line.”) Customs in Barcelona is a joke. A young woman took my declaration form, threw it on top of an overflowing stack of other such forms without event glancing at it, stamped my passport and sent me on my way. I guess I know where to go if I need to flee the States. The joke could be on me when I get ready to leave. :eeek:

I went to claim my bags and 30 minutes passed with nothing coming out. I and the other exhausted travelers waited patiently. I had to keep reminding myself that things don’t move as quickly in some places outside the U.S. and I wasn’t sure whether Spain was such a place. We waited another 30 or so minutes and then everyone noticed our flight was removed from the monitor above carousel 21. Confusion started to build (no bags had come out) and patience began wearing thin. An announcement was made in Spanish and several dozen in the group (the Spanish speakers) started heading toward carousel 22 in a huff. The rest of us waited a few moments for the English version that never came. We just followed the others.

After another 20 minutes or so something didn’t seem right. I went to the baggage claim information desk and asked about the bags for my flight. The woman pointed me to the Iberia lost baggage desk which was much farther away (of course). I made the trek and waited in line. When I arrived at the counter I spoke slowly and calmly. It was clear the woman assisting me spoke very little English and only when she had to — she kept returning to Spanish. She finally helped me understand that the reason for the delay is the cargo door on the airplane was jammed. Somewhat relieved I returned to the carousel.

I waited with everyone else about 5 more minutes then the buzzers and lights started going and the carousel began moving. One of my bags — the one containing my clothes and toiletries — came out quickly. Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Remember when I said in Part 1 how I always have problems with my bags? It’s true.

Since our honeymoon, anytime I have checked bags one of my bags does not make the journey with me. TB and I spent 17 days in Mozambique & South Africa followed by a week in Chicago (for Christmas) with nothing but carry-ons. I guess the delayed/lost baggage gods must still be angry with me for not allowing them to derail our honeymoon. Sure enough, the raffle prize bag never came out. :furious:

I went back to the Iberia lost baggage desk and wound up being helped by the same woman before. It took a lot of pointing and note writing back-and-forth for us to help each other through the claim process. She was unable to locate the bag and opined that it probably didn’t make it onto the plane in London. It is a fairly high dollar value item and I’m remaining optimistic that it shows today or tomorrow. The fact that I have not received an update and it has not been delivered to the hotel leads me to believe someone pinched it. (“Pinched” is British for “stole.”)

Either that or it was shipped to Siberia. :sarcastic:

Update: The bag was delivered to the hotel late last night and is in my possession! O, happy day.