We are at the Madrid airport in the Neptuno lounge, waiting an hour for our flight to begin boarding.
While this holiday has not been without its challenges, this trip has done exactly what it was supposed to do: help me leave behind some daily cares for a while, be a time of friendship and camaraderie, and give me even more understanding of Morocco (and more reasons to return).
The challenges have included no luggage (found only as we were leaving Tangier) and a lingering touch of The Portuguese Revenge from the local water in Fès.
But the joys!–
- the blue of Chefchaouen
- that camel ride
- several memorable meals
- talking with locals
- the corniche in Tangier
- Kevin’s glee at buying spices at the market in Meknes
- the medina in Fès
- attentive staff at riads and hotels
- medicine delivered to the hotel
- sights and sounds and scents (and smells) to fill a lifetime
Some of my favorite photos from the past ten days:
Arriving at the Tangier airport, I asked of the Iberia agent about my luggage. She called the service desk.
“Yes, sir. Your luggage is here in lost and found.”
And thus I was united with my luggage, which had apparently arrived on our around May 23, three days later than I did.
Of course, no one from the airport called the hotel, even though they knew where I was staying. And no one from the hotel seemed to be able to find the luggage either, or knew who to call at the airport.
[An update at 6 p.m. Madrid time on Tuesday: as of this moment, according to the screen captures on my computer, Iberia is still showing my luggage as lost with a WorldTracer on it. No one at TNG scanned a bar code, or even asked me to sign anything. No wonder this system is a mess.]
I have my luggage. Now I I have fresh clothes, thanks be to god. And all my toiletries.
Next: doing battle with the airlines for reimbursement, and doing battle with the private insurance company to gain restitution as well.
Here are the original posts, in chronological order:
The plot thickens.
No one wants responsibility for even investigating my luggage loss.
American Airlines: “We’re sorry to hear you’re still separated. As Royal Air Maroc was the final carrier, please continue working with them directly.” Apparently the protocol is that the final carrier manages the investigation.
Royal Air Maroc:
And of course Iberia had nothing to do with this mess. From an email to a contact at AA, some local context:
“We arrived TNG at 11 p.m. This is a tiny two-gate airport, and two jets arrived at the same time.At least six people on the AT flight arrived without luggage. We were all escorted to the tiny office of Iberia, the largest carrier here, who apparently services the AT luggage problems.”
That seems to be why the irregularity report was entered that way.
- Royal Air Maroc says to talk to Iberia.
- American Airlines says to talk to Royal Air Maroc.
- Iberia Airlines is out of the loop, and hasn’t responded at all to the irregularity report filed with them more than a week ago.
Who is going to take responsibility and pony up the compensation I’m due?
The Hotel Continental is one of the faded dowagers of Tangier’s heady days as the Interzone, where intrigue and drugs and money and secrets all washed together in the middle part of the 20th century.
I had not been inside on my previous trip, but our guide took us there last week, and I was glad for the opportunity to photograph the stunning mosaics and examples-everywhere of Moroccan style.
From our tour last week:
Ok, now I’m peeved.
@AmericanAir replied to my tweet with “We’re sorry to hear you’re still separated. As Royal Air Maroc was the final carrier, please continue working with them directly.”
The problem is — Royal Air Maroc has no record of the luggage in their system. No one has a baggage claim number. NO ONE!
So until @AmericanAir can prove that they sent my luggage on to Royal Air Maroc, then @AmericanAir is in my view responsible for my luggage.