I just got back from Jakarta last week with my Little Dragon and, for the first time ever, I ended up leaving his stroller behind in the luggage carousel in KLIA. We arrived around 3pm but I only realised my gaffe some three hours after having going home.
I felt very upset because (i) the stroller was a gift; (ii) it’s a MacLaren and not exactly cheap; (iii) it’s been an absolute pleasure to use; and (iv) it has traveled from Sydney to Jakarta to Jeddah to Makassar to Muscat to Langkawi within a span of 15 months.
My Little Dragon sleeping soundly in his MacLaren. Madinah Munawarrah, Jan 2012.
So how did I end up forgetting it? You see, in my numerous trips with my Little Dragon, the standard operating procedure (SOP) with most airlines with regards to strollers goes like this:
(i) get the stroller tagged during check-in, allowing the parent to use the stroller the entire time between check-in and boarding;
(ii) airline collects the stroller right before you enter the aircraft; then
(iii) airline gives it back to you as soon as you exit the aircraft.
Notable exceptions to this SOP are (i) AirAsia in Jakarta airport — they’d collect strollers as soon as you enter your pre-departure gate, which is a real bummer; and (ii) Lion Air, which collects strollers at the door of the aircraft but asks you to collect them at the luggage carousel, which is a huge hassle, to say the least.
No thanks to Lion Air’s SOP, I ended up inadvertently leaving behind my Little Dragon’s stroller when we got back from Jakarta, leaving me with the headache of getting the matter sorted out personally.
First off, the moment I realised the predicament I was in, I checked KLIA’s website to how they handle lost or misplaced luggage items. I was asked to call Lion Air but Lion Air referred me back to Lost & Found but then no one picked up the phone. I tried calling them again the morning after but to no avail — no one picked up the phone.
So what’s an exasperated mother to do? Drive off all the way to KLIA first thing in the morning, park the car, find my way through the maze of corridors in the carpark, queue to get a gate pass in Level 5, have my IC photocopied for RM1 apiece (total rip-off!), fill up a form, pay RM2, get the pass in exchange for my IC, walk to the guards in Arrivals in Level 3 only to be told to go through the Employees’ Entrance right beside Burger King, have my belongings x-rayed, get patted down (dang corset!), walk to KLAS office (KLAS = Kuala Lumpur Airport Services, who handles Lion Air’s luggage), wait for them to retrieve the ‘lost’ item, sign a form, walk back to where I came in, get my stuff x-rayed again, go back to Level 5 to get back my IC, figure out where I parked, drive to the office.
Just reading that makes you feel absolutely tired, doesn’t it?
Note to self: try not to misplace or leave behind any luggage from this time on 😛
P.S. It helped that I kept my stroller inside this stroller cover that I bought from Amazon.
Stroller with ‘Gate Check’ stroller cover
P.P.S. If your luggage is somehow missing, you’d have to report the loss immediately, fill up a form, then wait for the airline to complete their investigations. If your bag is damaged, you should also approach the airline representative and file a report; I once had a Samsonite bag damaged (it looked like it was dragged with enough force to create holes through the outside pocket to the main bag) and Singapore Airlines replaced it with something similar.