You’d think that trip was enough to render me superstitious against Christmas travel. But fast-forward a couple years into my newlywed era when I was eager to take the show on the road again, this time to introduce my beautiful baby girl, who by then was 18 months old and teething. She also had a minor ear infection, but she had a lot of those back then and if we stayed home for every one we’d never make it out for groceries. A quick trip to the pediatrician confirmed that air travel was perfectly safe as long as we continued her antibiotics. Parents of the world, you know what antibiotics can do to a toddler’s digestive tract.
But the trip was great! And everything would have been just fine if the baggage handlers had not gone on strike while we were en route back to Austin. What should have been a 50 minute layover in Memphis turned into three days with no bags, no car seat, no stroller, no clean clothes, and worst of all, no diapers. Somehow we were able to convince the airline to provide us a hotel room, while others were provided the comfort of the airport furniture. Grateful to have a bed and bath, we still had none of the other toddler necessities listed above and no way to get them. Memphis, we learned, has no sidewalks, at least not any near our hotel. Complicate that with the fact that the city was thawing from an ice storm. Even if we found an open restaurant, walking meant risking a broken hip or being hit by a car skidding on ice. Thankfully, the hotel manager took pity and drove me to Wal-Mart for supplies. But that holiday trip did me in. Since then, I have not only stayed right in my own house at Christmas (with hoarded supplies, of course) but I have also acquired respect for and fear of the baggage handlers union.
We all have our travel horror stories, but maybe fewer of them will include the loss of luggage now that the folks of Amsterdam Airport Schipol figured out a way to leverage Integrated Service Management to create a smarter luggage processing system.
For more information on how this is possible, check out the presentation from IBM Tivoli General Manager Danny Sabbah from Pulse earlier this month on the Pulse Portal: “Unleashing Business Innovation with Integrated Service Management”
Could the days of me pining away for long distance relatives at the holidays be over because of smarter baggage handling, or will the travel gods come up with some other way to make me to stay home in December?