Ask Sally: The airline lost my father’s ashes

Taste for Travel’s agony aunt Sally Slaughter answers queries on travel etiquette, ethics and dilemmas in her column Ask Sally. Inquiries: info@tastefortravel.com.au

Dear Sally, My father’s last wish was to have his ashes scattered from The Matterhorn, Switzerland’s famous mountain peak. It was  a very special place for him. That’s where he met my mother, and her herd of goats. He asked us to say a special poem and let his ashes become one with the alpine scenery. So we packed our bags, and the urn containing his ashes, and flew to Zurich.

But when we arrived, my suitcase containing the urn was missing! We’ve been waiting in Zurich for seven days, and the bag still hasn’t turned up.  I go to the airline office every day. I’m running out of money and I’m chainsmoking I’m so anxious. What can I do? Helga Dammit.

Dear Helga,
I’m so sorry to hear of your predicament. Zurich, while beautiful, has limited charm after a week. I believe there’s now an app for bag tracking, but it’s too late for that. Your bag could be in Bogota by now. Could you improvise on a South American mountaintop? Seriously though, there’s always a chance your bag will turn up. Did you know that 3,000 pieces of luggage get lost every hour of every day, according to one website promoting its own luggage-tracking system? Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? Apparently most of them turn up eventually.
If you sue the airline for emotional distress, and win, you could upgrade to a better hotel and go shopping while you wait.  Never underestimate the healing power of thrashing the plastic in a frenzy of retail therapy. Chainsmoking won’t help, unless you want to save the ash and consider chucking that off The Matterhorn instead. Just a thought.
Graciously yours, Sally.

©Taste for Travel 2011 All Rights Reserved

Comments

  1. says

    Tell Helga, I’m sending her a great alternative. As luck would have it, I ran across some of her papa’s left over sperm – had it in the freezer – just in case. Got the idea from Monica Lewinsky. Popped it into the dyhydrator along with some apricots and prickly pears. She can use it instead of his ashes – same thing anyhow… Now forwarding it to her by Fedex post haste, c/o the Matterhorn… well at least its something of his…. Also, tell her that she can recycle her cigarette smoke and use it during the ceremony as incense – mash some peppermints in with it and voila – happy ending!

    Better late than never!

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