I have to blog about this to get it off my chest and move on with my life.
Before we left for Mexico, Kim booked us a shuttle service through Orbitz.com. It was a cheaper deal to do it this way we were told.
We landed in Los Cabos, got our bags, went through customs, and went outside. Tons of shuttle services asking if I needed a ride. Nope, I already got one. Wait. Wait. Wait. No shuttle. Hmmm. Start asking around. My Spanish is rusty — ok, shitty. No luck. A while later, I see some guy age or younger come up with an Orbitz shirt on. I grab him and ask where my shuttle is. He was looking for me. His English was as shitty as my Spanish. He looked puzzled. He couldn’t find the shuttle. Orbitz hires out local companies for the shuttles. We were to be picked up by Maritur but they were no where to be found. I think he said we missed it. We were here. Whatever.
So he gets another friend of his to drive us over to the other terminal where there are more shuttles. We wait as Mr. Orbitz runs around looking for a ride for us. He ends up getting us into a group shuttle (like a SuperShuttle). We are off. It wasn’t a bad ride. The pain was the wait to get it. We were at the airport for probably 2 hours after we landed. Maybe we should have rented a car instead. Oh well.
So I call Maritur mid-week to arrange a pick-up on Sunday for us. No problem. The guy even shows up 30 minutes early. I think they do this so they can try to get other riders to help with the profit of the ride. Otherwise, we would have been alone. He did get another couple. We were off to the airport.
The driver never spoke and drove 100 km/hour to the airport. He backed up the van to the curb. We hopped out of the van. He was unloading our bags and the other couples bag onto the curb. A couple of porters instantly came up and started piling the bags onto 2-wheel dollies. I had blown all my pesos the night before so I was struggling to see if I had a tip for the porters — they work for tips only. I then had to get a tip out for the driver. I tried telling the porter that I didn’t need help but the porter already had my bags loaded so oh well. The driver closed the van doors, took the tip, and drove off. We got about 10 feet inside the airport and Kim asks me, “Where is the camcorder bag?”. “I thought you had it”, I replied. “Mother fucking son of a bitch”, I said as I ran back out to the parking lot. The van is gone. Damn.
Traveling with a kid, all our checked bags and all our carry-on bags is sort of a nightmare. You are constantly in this state of “do I have everything?”. We have traveled a lot over the past few years and we haven’t lost a thing. But this time, both Kim and I got thrown off by all the confusion and tipping going on after getting out of the shuttle. We both broke down and missed the count. Damn it. End of the day, it is my fault.
The bag we lost had our Sony camcorder in it. I bought it back in 2003 for about $1000. The bigger pain was that the bag also had a half-dozen DV tapes, a spare batter, a small tripod, and other camera crap worth a couple hundred bucks all together. Man.
So now what? I had a paper on it with the Maritur phone number on it so I called it. Ring. Ring. No answer. Am I dialing it right? The rings in Mexico sound different so I didn’t know. I tried another number I had for them but I got phone company message in Spanish — turned out to be the number has changed I learned much later. I tried finding the shuttle. No luck. I found our co-riders in the shuttle. They didn’t have it. I tried talking to the porter. No luck. I tried talking with other shuttle drivers to see if they could CB the driver some how. No luck. I then tried to use the payphone to call Maritur because I was confused if my cell was dialing right. Man, that took the help of a local that showed me how to do that. Same ring. Must have had it right. An hour and a half later, we just decided to go through security and head to our gate because we had done all we could. During this whole time, Sydney drove her Mom crazy.
After clearing security — oh, you don’t have to take your laptop out of your bag in Mexico, weird — I sent an email to Orbitz customer service saying that I lost my bag and maybe they could contact the shuttle company for me through other means. They emailed me back and said, “We are sorry. Call 1-866-…”. This is a US toll-free number. It doesn’t work in Mexico. Worthless. I then tried Maritur again and a guy named Luis answered. Hell, yeah! Lost my bag, yatta, yatta. They will check with the driver. Call back in a few. Ok. Called back — “NO BAG”. Huh? The driver looked in the van and there is no bag. WTF?
Were is the bag? We had it in the shuttle. Kim handed it to me and I put it in the back of the shuttle. I have a visual image and memory of doing this so I know it was in the shuttle. So either: 1) the driver is lying, 2) the van picked someone else up and they took it, 3) I am on crack. It has to be 1 or 2.
I called the shuttle company for 3 days after I got home but they are sticking with the driver. I asked them multiple times if they trust the driver. Sure.
I called our insurance company and they will cover the loss after our $500 deductible and we lose our “no claim” discount. What are you good for? Just natural disasters I guess.
The bag has my business card on it on a hang tag. Maybe somebody will call. Probably not.
So I am out one Sony video camera. I am going to let it go now. The saga is over. It isn’t the money so much as I really liked that camera and the stuff I had in the bag. I have other things I would rather spend my money on instead of buying a replacement for something that was stolen. My only postive is that given always lower electronics prices, I should be able to get a slightly better camera at a cheaper price. The bigger issue is the theft — stealing somebody’s camera when you are doing them a service and I tipped you! Plus, I had all kinds of videos of my kid in there. But being the geek I am, I happened to pull the vacation video off the camera the night before onto my laptop so that I could edit it on the plane. I guess it pays to be a geek.