I am catching up on some blogging, about all the annoying things that happened today.
When I landed, I got my luggage from the “Baggage Reclaim” (I guess that’s what the British like to call it!), and proceeded to Virgin Atlantic to check in my bags for the next flight to Nairobi.
The lady who was checking the bags in line said that Heathrow now has this strict policy of allowing only ONE carry on at 6kg. That’s different from the U.S. flights, where we are allowed 1 bag, and 1 personal item. So I went to the corner to repack and just kept my laptop bag.
I went back in line, and waited some more, to get scolded by the Virgin Atlantic lady that I should know better than to bring two luggages with me, because the flight to Nairobi would limit me to 23kg, and only 1 checked luggage. My other luggage weighed in at ~15kg, and Virgin Atlantic policy charges 27.10 GBP (50 dollars a kg) for the bag, and they would kindly charge me for 12kg only. There was no way I would pay for that. They suggested that I go check with the company called Excess Baggage, and have them carry it to Kilimanjaro.
So I did, and they told me it would be 180 GBP to send it to Kilimanjaro, and it would arrive between 7-10 business days. Argh. That’s not an option either.
So I emailed some PSC folks to get some help, and in the mean time, I went to “left luggage” to store my luggage for the day for 6 GBP, and knowing that I will take that 23kg bag, I went back to Virgin Atlantic to check the bag in.
This time around, they told me that the first lady was wrong, and I am actually allowed 30kgs total for two bags! I was relieved, and thought it was a good compromise, so I ditched some stuff, and got my bags down to about 30kg and went back. Since I am not allowed to leave stuff around the airport, I had to take the unwanted stuff (which were gifts to these wheelchair workshops) to the British Airport Authority and let them get rid of it. Luckily, some cleaning ladies/guys wanted the leather gloves, and was glad to take them and put them to good use!
I finally went back to Virgin Atlantic for the last time to check in my 30kg total of luggage, and told my story to another group of staff checking me in. They said “you are actually allowed to have two checked luggages with 23kg each, since your trip started in Boston, and you should be able to carry out the luggage allowance through your whole trip!”
So, in the end, I had ditched out some stuff, and was only able to take 75% of my original luggage when I was actually allowed 2 bags with 23kgs each.
Man.. so because of these weird regulations and miscommunications, it turns out I could’ve taken everything with me. I should’ve known better about all this mess and anticipated all this! Big lesson learned, is to never carry more than 1 bag of 23kg as checked luggage if you are flying on different airlines on your trip!
I was worried about having to pick up my luggage in Nairobi, but one good thing came out of this. When I finally got my bags checked in, the lady said that Virgin Atlantic can get the bags all the way to Kilimanjaro.
Well it’s around 10am, and my next flight isn’t boarding til 6pm, it’s time to go see London!