After arriving in Basel, we proceeded downstairs to the baggage claim area to pick up our luggage. And waited. And waited. Aside from our gate-checked stroller (pram), our bags did not arrive.
Lufthansa Lost Luggage
After all the self-inflicted drama of the morning, I was just wanted to get our bags and get to my in-law’s house for Christmas dinner. However, it soon became clear we would be delayed a bit longer, as the baggage was already unloaded by the time we reached the claim area and none of our bags had made it.
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (its official name), is a relatively small airport and no longer served by SWISS, just Austrian and Lufthansa within the Lufthansa Group. As such, there is no Lufthansa staff, just contracted Swissport ground staff who service multiple airlines.
The agent could not speak German (she was French), but did speak English and helped me file a report. She claimed she was unable to see where my bag was, so we had no idea if had made it to Frankfurt or was still in San Francisco or even Burbank, California.
After filing the report, she informed me someone would call me on my mobile phone when the lost baggage was located.
Fine, time to go shopping, right? Time to use those credit card delayed baggage benefits, right?
Wrong. It was Christmas Eve and now after 2:00pm. Everything would be closed for the next 2.5 days. I love the mad rush though cities on the morning of Christmas Eve as people complete their last-minute shopping or sip on Glühwein, but by 2:00pm even the grocery stores are closed. And they stayed closed over December 25th and 26th (and even December 27th if it happens to fall on Sunday).
So there was nothing to buy because even the drug stores were closed (one pharmacy in each town or city remains open, but in Germany, France, and Switzerland the drug store and pharmacy are two different things).
Thankfully, we had our toiletry bags with our carry-on items, so that was not an issue. We also keep a couple sets of clothes at my in-laws, so there would be clean clothes for two days. The only thing truly missing was our winter coats.
So we decided not to worry about it. I figured sometime on the 27th the bags would come, but the following evening, on Christmas evening, I received a call about 6:00pm.
“We have your bags. We are outside.”
Alrighty, then. You could have rung the bell!
A couple of young guys hauled up our bags into house and I thanked them for working on Christmas.
Based upon the luggage tag (the bags were re-routed to me from San Francisco to Munich on United, then Munich to Basel on Lufthansa), it was clear the bags were left behind in San Francisco. Thus, I’m not sure who to blame (we had plenty of time to connect and bags were tagged all the way to Basel to start), but we only had a wait a day for our bags.
Lost luggage is never ideal, even if just temporarily lost, but I was impressed that Lufthansa (via Swissport) delivered our bags on Christmas Day, which is something I really was not expecting in Germany. In the end, we were only separated from our bags for about 30 hours.