Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

An Open Letter to the Baggage Handlers of ROC, LGA, and JFK

Thank you. You unknown workers, toiling behind the scenes, that none of us travelers ever see, I thank you.

For getting my bag on the correct flight out of ROC, when my original flight was cancelled and I lost my head trying to schedule myself on a new one on any number of airlines because I was freaking out only slightly necessarily, thank you.

For somehow getting all of our bags onto the carousel in LGA within five minutes of pulling up to the gate, so that I could grab mine and race over to JFK in the scant 30 minutes I had, thank you. It was the opposite of a delay.

For then getting my bag onto the plane bound for London at JFK, when I dropped it off less than 40 minutes before take-off, thank you again.

It seems that we travelers are obsessed with complaining about the problems, the delays, the things going wrong. And that's all fine and well -- it's frustrating when travel doesn't go according to plan, especially when many of us have made carefully specified plans. But we are in error to not equally praise the good things, show thanks and gratitude for smooth travels, especially when such smoothness depends on so many dozens or hundreds of people.

And for that, I apologize, and thank you once again, for making my traveling as smooth as possible. Especially given it started with a cancelled flight.

Very sincerely,

Allison M. Charette