Cobbling together text messages starting during my distraught 4 hours in LAX:
I made it to the Qatar gate in plenty of time, actually. My bags were never found. They’re somewhere here in LAX. The gate agent told me to sit nearby, and they got the supervisor over to explain to me that they WOULD get the bags to me in PNG. He told me to go ahead and check in, and when I went up the gate, the agent had closed the flight WHILE I WAS TALKING TO THE SUPERVISOR. Because she was already printing the finalized manifest, the supervisor said, “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do.”
This really is like one of those dreams you can’t get out of and it feels like everything is going wrong. Sobbing In the airport and pleading with gate agents and managers. [They didn’t find the luggage until long after.]
Now they’re telling me (after 3 desk agents and 2 baggage counter visits and 1.5 hours) that I have to go back to International and get my bags released from Qatar. But there is no one WITH Qatar here. Because they only fly occasionally.
[At this point I just stopped and said out loud, “Lord, show me what to do.” At that very moment my phone rang - they had found and brought my bags to RIGHT where I was!!! I RAN with all that weight to the elevator, took it up to the check-in counter, tried to hurry through Security only to have BOTH carry-ons inspected!!! Argh! Then RAN to the gate, praying the whole time and realizing a I am even more out of shape physically than I thought. Got on the plane, praising God, then realized I didn’t have a signal for updating everyone!! I finally got a couple of texts to send when the cell signal came back minimally, and the travel agent - with Golden Rule Travel, the BEST!! - received my test asking him to forward my itinerary to our coordinator to get new permissions.]
I took the Turkish Airways flight to Istanbul then go on to Kuala Lumpur, arriving 6 hours before the WFP flight leaves, Lord willing.
Great 13 hour flight, slept most of it, highly recommend Turkish Airways! Had to re-clear Security probably literally 2 miles away from where we disembarked, in long, long line, but no issues.
Please keep praying! I’ll update as there’s anything to report.