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American travels 96-hours to Germany to fetch lost baggage

Sarah Pollok, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Jul 2022, 1:43PM
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

American travels 96-hours to Germany to fetch lost baggage

Sarah Pollok, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Jul 2022, 1:43PM

An American travelled for 96 hours back to Germany to retrieve his luggage after it was abandoned at Dusseldorf Airport.

Lost luggage is annoying, especially when you know exactly where it is.

This was the issue faced by Cameron Hopkins and his girlfriend, who had been home for weeks following a Europe trip but were still waiting for their bags to arrive.

However, thanks to Apple AirTags Hopkins placed on the suitcases, he knew exactly where the bags were, in Dussledorf Airport.

"It's having an itch you can't scratch," he told travel website The Points Guy. "It's madness."

Since the luggage held sentimental items from their family trip around Athens, Venice and Poland, Hopkins knew he had to get the bags back somehow.

So, on July 3, he boarded a flight to Europe and began a 96-hour journey to retrieve them. His adventure would include cancelled trains, planes and digging through large rooms packed with luggage.

During the original trip, Hopkins said disruptions were experienced often by the family. Problems with luggage, specifically, started when Lufthansa cancelled their flight from Venice to Poland. Since they had to make it to a family gathering, they paid £747 to re-book on Eurowings, a low-cost European carrier.

The trip required a stop in Dusseldorf but they could stay on the plane. Yet, after arriving in Krakow, Hokins and some fellow travellers realised their bags had been removed during the spot.

"We get there, and half the people on the plane get their luggage — and half don't," he said.

While filing a claim, Hopkins showed airport officials his Apple AirTags app which located the luggage in Dusseldorf.

Unfortunately, like other travellers have discovered, knowing where your bags are is only half the battle.

Making a rescue plan

Since calls to airline customer service were as helpful as "screaming into the abyss," Hopkins and his family just purchased essential items and clothing to get through the rest of the trip.

Even after returning home, pleas for help were similarly met with silence. Just five days after landing back at Las Vegas Harry Reid International (LAS), he boarded a Condor flight back to Dusseldorf via Frankfurt.

It didn't take long for more trouble to happen,and Hopkins' second leg was cancelled. This time, he opted for the more reliable rail service and rode to Dusseldorf on the Deutsche Bahn.

Once at Dusseldorf airport, staff directed him to rooms where he could hunt for his luggage; giant rooms stacked with endless piles of terrible-smelling luggage.

Eventually, he was reunited with his family's four suitcases. Then came the next challenge; getting them all home.

He then flew to Poland and dropped some bags off to his girlfriend's parents. From here, Hopkins and his bags all made it onto subsequent flights and home.

Despite the lengths the family had to go through, they are still one of the lucky ones.

Around the world, thousands of people continue to be separated from their bags full of expensive, and sometimes sentimental belongings.

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