Tips for traveling now with airport chaos, delays and lost luggage
I learned that even if my flight is on time, my luggage could cause me to miss my connection.
Because our Caribbean island destination was off the beaten path, our return trip was as follows: a small propeller plane from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to an American Airlines connection in Barbados, via Miami, then back to Los Angeles.
When we arrived in Miami, about eight hours into our trip, we were already sweaty and exhausted, but had to collect our checked bags for customs, to be immediately rechecked for our final flight to Los Angeles.
This is standard procedure when traveling on a multi-leg international flight and was not only a logistical inconvenience but also nearly caused us to miss our connecting flight home.
Indeed, even though the flight from Barbados to Miami was roughly on time, our luggage took over an hour to get to the carousel.
While I had considered the possibility of a late flight leading to a missed connection, it hadn’t even occurred to me that luggage alone could do that.
Our layover in Miami lasted about 2.5 hours, and it ended up being long enough to clear that hurdle. But I certainly wouldn’t allow anything shorter than that on a return trip to the US with a layover from an international destination.
In the future, I will remember that a longer layover buffer is useful when checking in and re-checking baggage.