And we’re back. I’ve been traveling. Decided it was a good idea to escape to the good old US of A for a while. He sun was shining, it was warm, and it took about half an hour before my poor Nordic skin was fried. The cul de sacs that once held hair have since turned a nice scaly consistency with bits of skin flaking off on a regular basis. And yes, I am still single. Weird, I know.
I even managed to be around for one of those historic moments what with the health care bill passing last Sunday. Followed by threats by various state lawmakers to sue the federal government. Lawsuits… it’s the American way.
But the trip was short lived and I returned to Sweden. Via Arlanda. The worst airport in the entire world. This time, I actually left the country without any issues and I avoided my arch nemesis Mikael, the infamous SAS employee. And I almost made it into the country without any issues. Almost.
Instead, I stood at the baggage claim carousel waiting for my bag to arrive. And I waited. And the bags kept coming. And mine did not. So I waited some more. And finally the bags stopped coming. And so I stopped waiting.
I headed over to SAS’s (of course it was SAS, the worst airline I have ever flown with out of the worst airport) claims desk. There was one person working the desk as I and five other people converged on the counter. There were four in the back room. Two of which I could see standing around drinking coffee. Eventually another woman joined the man working the counter.
We all dutifully, in that way that you learn to do in Sweden, grabbed our nummerlapp and immediately milled about waiting for the sign to light up with our number. Eventually mine lit up. I began filing my claim for missing luggage. Boarding pass. Full flight information. Description of suitcase. As I was describing the color of my bag, an Arlanda employee came up to the desk and explained that, oops, some of the luggage from Newark was mistakenly put on the carousel for the flight arriving from Chicago. Maybe my bags were there. Yes. Maybe.
He mounted his little scooter that they ride at Arlanda and drove away to get the bags. I waited patiently. After having traveled for about 18 hours and waited for luggage in over an hour, patiently is a euphemism for dead tired and unable to think straight.
Our friendly Arlanda employee arrived, my bag in tow. I was one of six lucky people on a flight where I could reach out and kick six people in my general vicinity from Newark to Stockholm to have their bags placed on the wrong carousel.
I know mistakes happen. There are hundreds of thousands of bags that go through the airport. Some are bound to be misplaced. But at some point, I just want to make it through a round trip ticket involving a stop in Arlanda without problems. One can only hope.
Welcome to Sweden. And the incompetence that is Arlanda airport.
Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden