Made it to Tennessee! And my bag was found!
Greyhound has slightly redeemed itself.
I promised myself that if I got my bag back, I would write a glowing review about greyhound, because there are hardly any success stories online about greyhound returning lost bags, and I wanted the world to know it is possible to get your bag back if it gets lost. So here is a little glimmer of hope for you who is reading this and has lost your luggage. For everyone else, sorry if this is not interesting.
First of all, lets talk in symbols and metaphors. It cant be THAT bad to loose all your “baggage.” If you’ve lost your baggage, that means you don’t have anymore baggage–which is great…if baggage is a symbol for personal problems. Ya feel me?
But it really does suck to lose your luggage.
Having experienced loosing a bag on greyhound, I do have a little advice about checking luggage:
#1 If its greyhound, do everything you can to avoid having to check your bag. If you keep your bag with you, it wont get lost. Period.
Don’t trust or expect the baggage people to do their job (sorry, baggage people). They’re only human, and they make mistakes. Its like when I was a dog-sitter and I lost the dog. It was “my ONE job,” the 20-something son-of-the-people-who-hired me had rebuked. But that really was the risk no one ever thought about when they hired me to dog-sit; I could either do a good job or a bad job, and that time I did a bad job. Woops.
Sometimes people fail. Don’t forget that.
note: the dog ended up coming back, just like my luggage.
#2 This sounds like a no brainer, but its important: If you do check a bag, make sure you have a tag with your contact information on it.
Make it durable, if possible, because those tags can get ripped off or damaged during transit. ALSO, write your contact information on a piece of paper and stick that inside your bag. This is a 2nd line of defense in case the outside tag gets ripped off.
#3 Make sure you get a luggage tag with your final destination written on it and KEEP THE RECEIPT so you can trace you bag if it gets lost.
When I boarded the bus in Santa Cruz, the computer was down so I did not get a tag for my luggage; I didn’t know that was important. For whatever reason, the bus driver did not give me a tag for my bag when he put it under the bus either, something he should have done since there was no way of knowing where that bag was headed if I didn’t claim it. Major human error.
Luckily, when I got to LA to change busses and had to ask where my bag was–it hadn’t been taken off the bus, probably because it didn’t have a tag–and was found still on the bus, the bag handler took it out and filled out a bag tag with my final destination written on it, giving me the receipt half. He didn’t give me the option of holding onto my bag and said when you have a multi-stop trip, the policy is that greyhound will do all the forwarding for you. I didn’t question it, but if I had to go back in time, I would definitely insist on hanging onto my bag.
After a 3 hour delay because the driver was late, I had the idea to go check on my bag, to make sure it was still there. Well, it wasn’t. Shit. I didn’t know if it had been stolen or put on the wrong bus, and no one could tell me anything because you cant trace the bag until it has reached its destination. So I had no choice but to wait until I arrived in Little Rock to report my bag lost–2 days later. I was distraught, but there was nothing anyone could do, so I just tried to stay calm and hope for the best.
I think what may have happened is that during my layover my bag was put on another bus, going who knows where.
To make a long story short, after arriving in Little Rock and finding, not to my surprise but definitely to my dissapointment, that my bag was not there, I called greyhound and reported my bag as lost. They took my information and bag description and gave me a tracer number, explaining that they’d put out a nationwide search to all the stations and would call me when they found it. I spent the next few days calling the Little Rock station to see if my bag had arrived and LA to see if it had been left at that staion by accident. It hadn’t. Days went by and I heard nothing. I tried to push it to the back of my mind and forget about it and asked my grandparents do what they do best and pray on it for me. People were nice and gave me spare clothes, including a very special long pink leopard print skirt, and I started to imagine a future without all that stuff that was in my bag. I would be ok, but I still hoped I’d get my bag back.
Then, on my last day in Missouri, before getting back on the bus for Tennessee, I called the Little Rock station to ask if my bag had turned up and lo and behold, it had. Why hadn’t they called me??????? That irked me, but I was happy to know my bag had been found. They said they’d put it on the next bus to Knoxville, where I was headed.
In the end, my bag eneded up on the very same bus I was on when I arrived in Knoxville. I have no idea how that happened, but I’m happy it did, since if arrived any later it would have been difficult for me to get back to that station to pick it up.
In conclusion, greyhound might lose your bag. Don’t trust them. But if your bag has been lost, do everything you can to report it and track it down. It might turn up.
If you do check your bag, consider paying for insurance through greyhound if you have anything valuable in your bag. They only reimburse you up to $250 for a lost bag. Lame.
That’s all for now. More on Tennessee to come.
All the best,