How baggage reclaim can drive you off your trolley – Lesley Keating

Baggage reclaim can be a nightmare after a long flight.
Baggage reclaim can be a nightmare after a long flight.

On the way home from holiday last month our bags were first off the baggage carousel. I have to admit we both felt more than a little smug, sailing through all the usual channels in record time before emerging into arrivals at South Terminal, Gatwick.

We were both tired and jet-lagged as our taxi driver helped with the bags while I trotted behind, zombie-like.

We’d literally just trundled to the end of a very long corridor and were emerging outside when Mike uttered the immortal words: ‘Where’s your white pull-bag?’ 

‘Isn’t it on the trolley with the others?’ I squeaked in horror, realisation dawning and panic rising.

It wasn’t… so it was probably still sitting by Baggage Reclaim No 6. I’ve never moved so fast in my life.

Our lovely driver insisted on returning with me to the information desk, so we broke into a sprint while Mike waited with the trolley. 

I’m used to running but I thought our driver was going to have a coronary when we finally skidded to a halt by the British Airways desk. ‘I haven’t run in years’, he puffed.

Nicki, the ground stewardess wasn’t too fazed by my predicament. 

Apparently ‘it happens all the time’ so she agreed to accompany me to get my bag.

But I’d need my passport first… which was back with Mike. 

Eventually, passport in hand, I was whisked through the terminal, Nicki on her walkie-talkie, travellers agog.

I then had to go back through departures – shoes and phone in a plastic tray – and through the body scanner.

And that’s when we met our next obstacle.

‘Sorry, she needs a boarding pass first,’ growled the supervisor, adamant I was going nowhere despite Nicki explaining I wasn’t planning to board anything. We then had to wait for his supervisor.

Finally, my bag and I were reunited.

‘White is easier to locate,’ said Nicki.

‘We normally get black ones left instead. You have no idea how many people take someone else’s bag. Last week a businessman took the wrong one home and discovered it was full of bikinis!’​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Why should loyal customers be hit with higher premiums?

I’ve just read about something I’ve long suspected – that insurance companies only offer best prices to those changing from other providers while penalising loyal customers with higher premiums. One has now decided to end this with fixed price policies.

Last month my annual car insurance renewal went through the roof but on a comparison site the same provider offered the same product but for £300 less! I asked what they intended to do about it and guess what? They changed my renewal to the lower rate. They weren’t embarrassed about the difference being astronomical. I’d expected them to try to justify why I’d been ripped-off for years. Interesting…​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A year with the downward dog and I’m a new woman

I’ve been practising yoga for a year and I’m astounded how much difference it’s made. Everything had been aching, creaking, and, as for flexibility, forget it.

I was a size 10, looked healthy but felt a fraud. I could barely touch my toes and gobbled painkillers like Smarties.

Now, thanks to yoga teacher Chloe Leggett, whose classes I attend three times a week – at The WOW Clinic, Westbourne, The Yoga Café, Waterlooville, and at Re-Balance, Hambledon – everything has changed. I’m calm, flexible, a dress-size smaller, sleep well and feel decades younger. In fact I’m obsessed as I took my mat 5,000 miles to St Lucia and did classes on holiday.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​