With Hanne in Copenhagen, Denmark
With Hanne in Copenhagen, Denmark

Serious wahala for oyiboland (2)

In my account last week, despite the smooth flights I enjoyed from Accra to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Denmark, I arrived at my final destination, Copenhagen Airport, and couldn’t locate my luggage. To make matters worse, apart from having to go two days without my belongings, I was due to travel to Brussels, Belgium, without news of my lost luggage. Read on.

Next day, we were leaving for Brussels and still there was no news from the airline about my luggage. Na wa oh!


Yet, I was somehow optimistic that my luggage would be found, but the when was the matter.

Would it arrive when I was in Brussels or would I get it before enplaning for the EU-Africa Summit? Only time and patience would tell.

An experience repeated

Well that was not my first time travelling by air and arriving without my luggage. I quite remember my first taste of it in 2009 when I travelled to Berlin, Germany, for a three-week course in newspaper management organised by InWENT.

I arrived not only as the lone Ghanaian on the course, but also as the only participant without his luggage. So how was I going to live in a strange land for three weeks with no clothes to wear?

Fortunately for me, that question was answered that same evening. I arrived very early in the morning and by 8 p.m. my luggage had been delivered to me at my residence - Buckower Damm. Now that is what I call efficiency.

I remember vividly, as if it were only yesterday that it happened. The seminar assistant who picked me from the airport calmed my troubled nerves by assuring me my luggage would be found and that she would follow it up. All I needed to do, she said, was to go to where I would be residing temporarily - Zimmererweg, and make sure I had a good rest from my long travel.

Now, if that ain't 'sweets', then what is it? I did her bidding and voilà, it arrived. I would always be grateful for that, Sabrina (the assistant' s name).

The second time, I think, was in Bamako, Mali, where I was attending a workshop. I had to cope with wearing the same clothes until a Liberian brother - Augustine Myers, bailed me out with a shirt and I had to get into town to buy some boxers. Thanks Myers ‘Sammy Michem’, if you are reading this.

It was not until the third day after several calls and checks, that I got back my luggage then and my! It was a harrowing experience which I wouldn't want anyone to go through.

Luggage found

Back on track. Soon it was Tuesday and the three-man or is it one man and two-women team of Hanne, Janet and myself headed for the airport to catch a flight to Brussels and still no news had been received from the airline on my luggage.

Hanne was hopeful though, that we might get the luggage when we got to the airport. In view of that, after we had checked in, we decided to give it a try by making enquiries before completing departure formalities.

Time was not on our side but our hunch paid off. Hurray! That indeed is my suitcase I whispered to myself when an attendant who said she was new on the job, wheeled it from inside a room. We had earlier checked some baggage out in the hall that had suffered the same fate as mine but had drawn a blank.

Inefficiency or lackadaisical attitude?

One Akan proverb says "etua wo yonko ho ah etua aduamu", meaning one is not so bothered when it is a friend that has a problem.

From all indications, my luggage had arrived the previous night but the handlers, Novia, could not be bothered; instead they waited for me to pick it up myself. Not even a call of assurance, when they had my contact details. I heard someone whisper compensation. Well forget it! Nothing of that sort happened.

Another theory worth exploring is that they are not efficient with handling luggage. Otherwise, how can we explain the fact that many other people on the same flight, especially those transiting from Accra, could not get their luggage.

I am very sure my luggage got to Istanbul from Accra, but why a transit time of over four hours could still not be sufficient to load our luggage onto the next flight, is what still beats my imagination.

Well let's leave the luggage wahala here and be thankful that at least, my stuff was found at the nick of time before leaving for Brussels.

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