Sunday, January 2, 2011

Found luggage

Brussels International Airport, Dec. 25 2010

(All photos courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

As some of you may know, the four of us went to Brussels for Christmas.

The departure from Aveyron was an adventure in itself; an extremely chilly surprise snowfall had hit here on Christmas Eve, making us modify our plans for getting to Toulouse's Blagnac airport.

Rather than having a cozy little Christmas celebration at home and leaving for our 6:40 am flight in the middle of what promised to be an icy night, we decided to scrap celebrations and flee to the Blagnac Ibis hotel on Christmas Eve afternoon.

All Toulouse-Brussels flights had been cancelled on the 24th, so we also left not knowing if we would be spending Christmas Day in a cosmopolitan winter wonderland, or sadly driving back to Aveyron to open our presents.

You can imagine our joy when we got to the airport and found out our flight would be taking off with little delay.

We had four suitcases, including Charlotte's -- ironically, a carry-on -- which she didn't hesitate to check in along with ours.

When we got to Brussels, we noticed some rather large groups of suitcases neatly sitting about, but we did not feel concerned by this. After all, what could go wrong on a direct 90-minute flight?

The scene was not so alarming early in the day

To make a long story short -- because this could become a very long story -- two of our suitcases came through right away.

The third popped up, bereft of all labels and ID, an hour and a half later, giving us great hope for the little carry-on that could.

Three hours after that, we gave up on finding Charlotte's suitcase in this mess:

At this point, we figured it was time to move on

Fortunately, she was able to live off our clothing for our short stay.

And we kept things in perspective. During our 5 hours hanging out around the Brussels luggage carousels, we met travellers who had gone through much worse: some were spending their fourth day trying desperately to recuperate baggage in Brussels.

And for us, the good news is that her suitcase made it to Toulouse today and will be delivered to our doorstep tomorrow.

My lesson learned? If travelling in extreme winter weather, limit yourself to a carry-on -- and keep it with you at all times.


  1. Good advice. I am so glad we just stayed put.

  2. WOW That is a MESS! W/the first picture I thought not bad...then the last pic I would have done the same thing :-)

  3. Betty: we stayed in France for a month (in one place) with a carry-on each! and I still had more than enough clothes. Less is more.

  4. @Linda We have no regrets because other than the suitcase, things worked out. We were lucky.

    @TN Yes, in the end we "lost" three hours waiting for the suitcase that never came, but since one had popped up late, we had some hope. When we left, the baggage people told us there were 5,000 suitcases down below, so chances were slim that it would come up 5 hours after our flight arrived.

    @tut-tut I am good at travelling light too but we did need a lot of warm clothes...and did some Christmas shopping, since the trip was the girls' main Christmas present. But I still tend to agree with you.

  5. I've lost a few over the years - but always found eventually. Barcelona airport always complained when I lived in Andorra - such a long drive to put it on my doorstep LOL.
    Welcome back to blogging. You were missed!

  6. @katiez Thank you! I did make a few timid attempts to get back into it on La France Profonde, but decided starting anew would be more fun. I think we tend to set rules for our blogs -- at least I do -- and I figured opening a new platform would be liberating. I may even blog about food again!

  7. Love your place :)

    Mrs Shambles & I have a good friend in Tourcoing, France and she's visited Brussels a couple times, taking our daughter in the Spring.