Can you believe we’ve been together well over two decades now? How time flies.
It was with you that, as a nervous teenager on my way to college, I did it for the first time—traveled on my own. It was so exciting—I felt like a grown man. I can still hear your roar as we both took off. Being inside you just felt right.
Ever since then, you’ve had my heart.
All these years later, we’ve marked milestones with bronze, silver and gold. We’ve journeyed the world together and, you have to admit, we’ve made some beautiful memories.
Remember taking me home to the premiere of my first film? Remember how we entrusted you to take my 80-year-old grandmother on her first ever trip to London? Remember how often I fought to be with you, even when I was offered younger, more glamorous options? I’ve lost track of how many glasses of champagne we shared before you tucked me into bed on our overnighters. I’ve kept every card you’ve ever given me. I even linked my finances with you and have a credit card that bears both our names.
But, lately, it just hasn’t been the same. I’ve noticed you’ve started letting yourself go and losing interest. You’re looking shabby, seem tired, indifferent—condescending, even. Over the last few years, you gave me plenty of reasons to give up on us, but yet—call me a sentimentalist—I chose to stay. Every relationship experiences some turbulence but I was in it for the long haul and I thought this might just be a phase. Frankly, I always felt we’d end up growing old together.
But, it appears I was more into you than you were into me. I gave you my heart and, in return, you lost my luggage. You once charmed me with your #VisitMum and #FuelledByLove campaigns and yet, thanks to you, my mum didn’t get her last birthday present because you claim you “misplaced” the suitcase that was carrying it home to her. Anyone else would have instantly dumped you but I trusted in you and stood by you. And, as you know, we’ve taken no less than four trips together, since then.
We all carry baggage and perhaps you thought I needed to be relieved of some of mine. You’d lost my bags many times before but somehow you always ended up scrambling around, mumbling a few excuses and eventually returning them to me (although, often, distinctly worse for wear).
But this time is different.
This time the circumstances are suspicious and unusual.
No short connection. No weather delay. No force majeure. Just a piece of luggage sinisterly “disappearing” minutes after being checked in and before being loaded onto the aircraft.
It’s been nearly ten months, you still haven’t returned my possessions and seem inexplicably defensive whenever I ask for any kind of information. You won’t take my calls, you ignore my messages, you refuse to answer my questions.
What went wrong between us? Was it something I said?
You’ve always had a bit of a reputation but I stood by you. “Not my B.A.”, I’d say when I heard people call you careless, arrogant, and even racist. But now, you’ve gone and proved them all right. Travel industry insiders have shared alarming statistics of your negligence, asking, “What did you expect?” Friends and family have reached out with similar accounts of loss and heartbreak that led to their own breakups with you. It seems “losing” luggage is the one thing you’ve always done really well.
Silly me, I actually believed you when you assured me you’d, pull out all the stops if anything were to ever go wrong But, instead, when the going got tough, you chose to cower behind legal fine print, threw a few measly bucks my way, blatantly lied to me, systematically misled me and aggressively stonewalled my every query, in your attempt to cover up this incident and quickly close the case.
I thought we didn’t have any secrets from each other but you withheld a police report from me. And, when, after months of my own efforts, I finally obtained it from you, I was horrified to see you’d filed it with inaccurate and incomplete information. It’s almost as if you don’t want the authorities to find out what really happened.
And that’s why we’re breaking up. On behalf of everyone who’s ever loved you and been loyal to you and trusted you, I must ask—How can you possibly think it’s OK to take us for granted and play fast and loose with our possessions and our safety?
Because, ultimately, it’s not just about a stolen bag and shameful customer service. If luggage can so easily be lifted out of your supposedly “secure” system, like mine was—at one of the most high-profile airports in the world—then it’s possibly also a much deeper security concern.
If, down the line, an incident with more serious consequences were to occur because of another episode like this, I would feel morally responsible for not having let people know about such a critical security flaw and your alarmingly murky system.
I hope anyone reading this, with plans of a relationship, or even a one-off liaison with you, is now aware of the grave risks and considers other, safer options.
I wish it didn’t have to end like this but I’m moving on—I’ve started seeing other airlines.
You claim your motto is: "To Fly. To Serve." I’d like to recommend a more accurate slogan: “To Fail. To Spurn."
Consider it my parting gift to you.