- Introduction: Birthday Trip To The Maldives
- Booking Emirates Skywards One-Way Awards With Stopovers
- Review: Air France-KLM Lounge Washington Dulles Airport (IAD)
- Review: New Emirates Boeing 777 First Class (IAD-DXB)
- Review: Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre
- Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Airport (DXB)
- A Lovely Emirates First Class Flight To The Maldives
- Review: Cheval Blanc Maldives Randheli
- Review: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
- Review: Four Seasons Maldives Landaa Giraavaru
- Oops: I Missed My Flight, Almost Got Denied Entry To Qatar
- Review: Qatar Airways Boeing 777 First Class (MLE-DOH)
- PSA: Don’t Wait At The Wrong Baggage Claim Belt
- Review: Park Hyatt Doha, Qatar
- Review: Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge Doha (DOH)
- Review: Sleep ‘N Fly Sleep Lounge Doha Airport (DOH)
- Review: Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class 777 (DOH-DFW)
Most days I consider myself to be a travel expert. May 1, 2022, was not one of those days. Despite enjoying a fabulous flight in Qatar Airways’ 777 first class, the rest of our travel day wasn’t exactly smooth. I wrote about what happened in the Maldives, where we missed our flight due to my confusion over Qatar’s entry requirements. Now let me tell you what happened after the flight…
An endless wait at Qatar Airways baggage claim
While we usually only travel with carry-ons, we decided to check a bag for our trip to the Maldives. Why? Well, we were there for 11 days, and we wanted to bring a lot of sunscreen, given how much resorts often charge for that (not to mention they often don’t have the SPF we’re looking for, they may not have sunscreen specifically for your face, etc.). Since we were gone for over two weeks in total, it was also nice to be able to pack extra underwear, socks, etc.
Our Male to Doha flight arrived around 11:30PM. Immigration went off without a hitch, and within minutes we were at baggage claim. We looked at the baggage claim board, and saw that the bags for QR677 from Male would be arriving at belt number four. That’s where we headed.
The monitor said “Bags En Route,” so we waited… and waited… and waited… and waited. Before we knew it, it was approaching 2AM, and we had been waiting for 90 minutes.
At this point we were wondering if our bags were lost, or what exactly was going on. The way I viewed it:
- I regularly wait over 45 minutes at American Airlines baggage claim
- It was the last night of Ramadan, so perhaps they weren’t well staffed
- Our plane was parked really far from the terminal, and Doha is all about connecting traffic, so I imagined that maybe the lowest priority was getting bags for those terminating in Doha
- The monitor kept showing “Bags En Route” rather than “Bags on Belt” or “Last Bag,” suggesting that bags were still coming
Let me also note that I wasn’t totally with it at this point. It was the middle of the night, so we were really tired, and we had also napped on the flight. I’m a terrible napper, and after I take a nap it can take me a long time to actually be fully awake and functional again.
After waiting at the baggage claim belt for 90 minutes, we decided to go to the baggage office to see what was going on.
A surprising visit to the baggage office
We went to the baggage claim office and explained we had been waiting at the belt for 90 minutes and our bags hadn’t arrived. I presented our boarding passes, and after the Qatar Airways representative reviewed them, the conversation went something like this:
Employee: “My colleague just took your bags from the belt and put them in luggage storage because they weren’t claimed.”
Me: “Sorry, what? We’ve been waiting at baggage claim four since the flight arrived.”
Employee: “Your bags arrived at baggage claim nine.”
Me: “But… the board said the Male flight was at belt four.”
Employee: “That was QR677, you were on QR673.”
Okay, so there’s absolutely no defense here, I’m a total idiot. However, I’m sure some can appreciate that two flights arriving 20 minutes apart from the same destination with flight numbers that are nearly identical can be confusing, especially if you just woke up from a nap after enjoying generous servings of Krug. 😉
Also, in fairness:
- Both Ford and I looked carefully at the board when we arrived at baggage claim, and we both swear we only saw one Male flight listed (perhaps we were wrong?)
- I guess I should feel even worse for those on QR677, because even after 90 minutes the flight still showed as “Bags En Route,” which also makes me wonder what was going on there
Look, I know y’all come to OMAAT for travel tips, so I’m really thrilled that more than 14 years into blogging I can share useful tips, like… go to the correct baggage claim belt. May 1 definitely won’t go down as my proudest day in terms of travel skills.
When you check a bag, your bag arrives at a carousel after the flight. In order to retrieve your bag, you have to go to the carousel for the flight you arrived on. As it turns out, your bag won’t arrive at a carousel designated for another flight.