Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Laptop Travel Nightmare: What Would You Do?

Instead of a Memorial Day picnic, you have to fly Minnesota. Once you arrive late in the evening you still have to drive six hours and be ready for training the following day.  You reach into your bag and find a Microsoft Surface RT that apparently belongs to someone you’ve never met or heard of.  What would you do?

Now imagine you traveled halfway across the country, taking two separate crowded economy flights. When you arrive it first appears that your airline has lost your bag but you eventually find it. It’s a good thing because Delta Airlines surprised me with a $25 charge to check one bag. You locate the taxi stand and ride into the city dragging both your bag and carry-on bag into a noisy downtown hotel. When they can’t find your reservation you discover Hilton has two hotels on the same street in Minneapolis.  So at 10 PM you’re in a strange downtown dragging your bags four blocks to the hotel that is expecting you. You’re given a great room but told the kitchen is closed so there wouldn’t be any room service and because it’s a holiday there’s nothing near by that’s still open.

View of Target Field home of the Minnesota Twins

So far what I describe sounds like a typical travel annoyance. If you’re like me, your spouse has packed great home made cookies and you decide it doesn’t matter how much they want for that diet soda in the mini bar. So you settle down to connect your computer so you can whine about your travel issues. Unfortunately, your laptop is gone.  You immediately assume since your dragged along bag was a little open your small, light Surface RT was either been stolen or fell out somewhere between the baggage claim and your hotel. Could it be in the cab, laying on the floor of the airport or did someone find it laying in the street.  Now what would you do?

Yes, it happened to me.  I considered all possibilities, made a number of phone calls, traced my steps to the first hotel, left messages at the airport and even contacted the local Microsoft Store since someone would need a power cable and in theory a way to refresh the system.  Currently, Microsoft corporate does not have any way to track a Surface Pro or RT.

The next day I was ecstatic to have both a phone call and Email from a gentleman who found my Surface tucked into his carry-on.  Apparently when I got up near the end of the flight to stow my laptop I mistook his bag for mine. My Surface was safely in the hands of a fellow traveler and Microsoft Partner.  Since Windows 8 uses your email address to log in my contact information was right there.  As soon as he was able, he boxed up my computer and shipped it to my home.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons USPS isn’t making a profit.
Lucky, my Surface RT was packed well and is built like a rock..


So I give thanks to my new best friend who requested anonymity and hope my story will save one of you from making a terrible mistake like I did.

One treat of my trip was The McNamara Tunnel created by Northwest Airlines(Delta) between to concourses at Detroit Airport. I had experienced the tunnel at Chicago O’Hare but now with LED lighting available this light show kicks butt.

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Blogger nightsmusic said...

I'm just curious. I posted a comment on this and don't see it though it appeared to go through. At least Blogger didn't say otherwise. Did I say something wrong in the post? I've posted before with no problem.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Nightmusic, thanks for participating and offering your own experience.
There is nothing that Google or Blogger does but there is an option that allows me to review any comments before they're public. I'm sure you understand that.

How soon they appear will often depend on when I get a chance. This week I'm moving everything over to my new laptop so I'm a little behind but will blog about that soon.

In general I never allow comments that include urls. There have been some exceptions and I'm sure there are some that would be useful if I had the time to properly test them. I hadn't gotten to your previous comment was now that I see it has an url I probably won't release it unless I get time and can verify it's useful and safe.

Some may think I'm may be too careful but in the words of Sheldon, "My couch, my rules". :)

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stories like this are so encouraging. Many people would have though it their lucky day, and just kept the tablet; without attempting to find the owner. The man was honest. Good for him.

8:21 PM  

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