Sunday, January 08, 2012
Spain 9: How to find your lost glasses
I don't lose things.
You might laugh, Oh CF! You are such a joker! Everyone loses things!
I do not.
I have never lost my car keys. Or my wallet. Or my driver's license. I don't lose things. I am organized - my computer documents are in files - how do people who just save everything to their desktop or to their C drive ever find anything? I have a system of files set up and documents are in the files where they belong. Want a receipt from our 2009 taxes? In the Taxes/2009/Receipts file. Where it belongs.
I don't lose things.
So imagine my surprise and my distress when I sat down on the flight from Charles de Gaulle in Paris to Madrid and opened my purse to discover that my reading glasses - for which I had just gotten new lenses - were not there.
These are the glasses I have had for years and not abandoned because they are among the few frames I have ever owned that don't make me wince in pain when I see myself in the mirror. Usually, I remove my glasses before looking in a mirror - who needs that much detail? - but these glasses didn't bother me. I actually thought they were kind of cute.
The glasses weren't there.
We hadn't taken off yet. In a normal situation (i.e., not at CDG), I could have begged the flight attendant to let me run off the plane and to the lounge next to the gate where I remembered leaving them, but we had boarded the buses to the plane at Terminal 2F gate 25 and were now about 17 miles away at Terminal Middle of Nowhere. Because, as you will remember, the Madrid flights always board from 2F but the plane to Madrid was at the other terminal because the London flights always arrive at Terminal Middle of Nowhere and there is NO WAY TO CHANGE THAT.
Where were my glasses? How would I do anything on my computer without my glasses? Why had I brought the Good Reading Glasses on a trip instead of the Ugly Reading Glasses that were sitting under my computer at home? Those cost more, but I would gladly have lost them so as to have an excuse to replace them.
Yes, I have two pairs of reading glasses because I am very lazy and do not want to always be going from the bedroom to the kitchen to find where I had left those darn glasses.
I also keep a pair of glasses in the basement for watching TV.
If it's any consolation, these are old glasses. I only got new lenses in the Good Glasses because 1. my eyes are getting a wee bit worse and 2. we had money left in the FSA.
Where was I?
Oh. On the plane. No glasses. No way to go back to Terminal 2F and run into the lounge to grab them from the table where I left them.
I asked the flight attendant whom I would call to get my glasses back. She shrugged helplessly? The gate agent in Madrid? she suggested.
When we got off the plane, I asked the gate agent. "Lost and found," she said.
I tried protesting that I had not lost the glasses at Barajas, but she was unyielding.
Lost and Found told me that they did not handle items lost in other airports. Which I knew.
Back upstairs to Air France ticket agent. "Ask the supervisor," she said.
Supervisor shrugged. "I do not know."
We looked across the hall. There was the Air France business class office. The lady there looked and looked for a number. She called the lounge and handed the phone to me. It was a fax line.
She shrugged. "That is the only number I can find," she said. "But try this email." It was the email for Air France lost and found.
I emailed Delta (our ticket was on Delta and they code-shared with Air France) customer service.
"You need to contact Air France lost and found," they said.
I sent an email and got this response:
We duly received your mail concerning the lost item, and we will do our utmost to investigate. However, if you do not receive any reply from us within 8 days, the tracing has to be considered as negative.
Please do note that Air France is not liable in case of lost, partial reconstitution or deterioration of your property.
Does that answer inspire confidence in you?
It sure doesn't give me any hope.
I wrote back to Delta, begging them to just give me a phone number if they wouldn't call themselves.
"I'm sorry you are disappointed in my response," the Delta lady said.
When we got back to Atlanta, I asked the man in the Delta lounge if he had a number for the Air France lounge. He did not, but suggested I go to the Air France office in Terminal E to talk to them.
SH and I had just walked from Terminal E - after going through the passport line with the slowest passport agent ever, a man who processed only six passengers in the time it took the other agents to process two dozen and who kept closing the passports and putting them on the desk so he could ask us about the weather in Milwaukee and was it better to fly into Milwaukee or Chicago and why were we taking cheese to Wisconsin anyhow and I was ready to scream but SH had already cautioned me against screaming or being a smart aleck to him so I just bit my lip instead - to the lounge in Terminal A. Now I was going to have to go all the way back.
But if I could get my glasses back, it would be worth it.
I took the tram to Terminal A. Had to ask four people before I found the Air France office. A man there looked up the AF lost and found and said there were no glasses listed, but suggested I go to the Air France gate to talk to Stephanie, who might have the number for the lounge.
I went to the gate. Stephanie was busy, but Sheri told me that Stephanie did not have the number but that I should file a claim in the baggage assistance when we got back to Milwaukee.
We went to baggage assistance in MKE and the woman there told me she had no idea what I was talking about.
I am tired. Maybe I should just give up.