I had the pleasure of spending the past five days in the Los Angeles/Disneyland area with my family. However, all of the rest and relaxation was nearly undone this morning when dropping off my sister and nephew for their return flight. The Delta terminal at LAX looked like a scene from the news after the airport has been closed for three days due to volcanic ash or a blizzard. We could not even find the end of the line to drop off baggage in the terminal, so we went outside and waited for a skycap. Literally. A skycap. There was only one dude working. This dude not only printed boarding passes and checked baggage, but he also loaded all of the piles of bags onto various carts that were intermittently picked up by people wearing Delta attire. (I offered to load the bags so he could concentrate on checking people in and printing labels, but said that was a liability.) He also had to answer questions from dumbfounded people who could not find any other Delta employees to answer their questions, which tended to be along the lines of, "What the FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?" His other duty was informing people who waited in line for an hour that he was unable to accept bags if people's flights were less than 45 minutes from the time they arrived at his counter. This was a very unfortunate thing for many people to learn.
It was especially unfortunate to the guy who appeared to not speak English who kept running around in a circle at 7:55 am pointing to his 8:00 am boarding pass. We people in line tried to direct him to the Special Services desk (as we had heard the skycap do many times), and he ran in. A few minutes later, he frantically re-emerged on the sidewalk. He took his bags, which had not been checked in, threw them on top of one of the carts of checked bags waiting for a Delta attendant, and pushed it into the terminal. Yes. The entire cart, with about 20 or 30 bags on it. The skycap was so overwhelmed with his work that he did not notice.
The people in line stared, dumbfounded. I can't decide if it was in shock, a selfish desire to not distract the skycap and lose precious time waiting while he chased the guy down, or both. (In my case, it was both.) No one said a word. The skycap checked Dana's bag and Marcus's car seat, and we dashed in so they could get through security, as their plane boarded in 25 minutes. We never saw the man or the cart of baggage again.
So if you flew Delta this morning from LAX, and your bag is lost, now you know why. Beware that crazed tourist!