I flew out to Niagara Falls on Thursday night. The cab dropped me off at Logan and I checked my suitcase curbside. I walked up to an US Airways express checkin kiosk, swiped my credit card for identification, touched the screen a few times, and it printed me a boarding pass. I showed my ID and boarding pass to security and I was at the gate. Because the airport was empty and I didn’t have to wait in any lines, it took me about 15 minutes to get from the cab to the gate. There was plenty of time for me to have a beer and a bowl of chowder at the Legal Seafood near the gate while I waited for my plane to begin boarding.

Once we were in the air, I thought to myself “this is how air travel should be”. Curbside checkin and electronic ticket kiosks have made eliminated much of the hassles of airline travel (e.g. waiting in long lines, redundancy, etc.). I relaxed on the flight and thought about how they are finally making progress.

Then they lost my luggage.

I got off the plane, went to the baggage claim, and watched the conveyor belt go round-and-round until it was empty. They had no idea where my suitcase was. Apparently, they don’t actually ever scan the barcodes they put on every bag. The following day, they managed to locate it and deliver it to my hotel. With all the improvements they’ve made, how can they still screw up something so fundamental? I gave you my suitcase. Just put it on the plane. This has also happened to several of my friends. Poor Sean spent part of his first three days in Paris shopping for underwear and the like. Perhaps the increased checked-baggage security measures the government is forcing the industry to implement will have the side effect of making them lose luggage less. Let’s hope.