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July 24, 2006

Stupid Southwest Airlines

I flew into Indianapolis on Sunday on Southwest Airlines. I arrived at 3:30pm, and was told that my bag did not make it. Eight hours later, they called me up and told me that my bag had not arrived on either of the two subsequent flights from Orlando. They think that perhaps my bag will arrive this morning sometime.

I asked them why they couldn’t just look up the barcode from my luggage receipt and find out where the hell my bag is. I was told that only Delta Airlines has a true baggage tracking system, and that everybody else just uses the barcodes as an old-fashioned claim check mechanism. Given the complexity of baggage handling in today’s airline industry, coupled with the vast improvements in inventory management systems (and this really is a form of inventory), it baffles me why more airlines haven’t stepped up to resolve this glaring hole in customer support.

The bottom line is that I’ve got nothing to wear but the clothes on my back. I’m especially pissed about it because I had $300 in brand new unworn Tommy Bahama silk shirts in my bag that my wife gave me for my birthday (which is today). This is a week long trip, so all told, I have about $2,000 in clothes missing in action. According to the Southwest Airlines baggage policy, they are liable for up to $2,800 per fare-paying customer. If it comes to that, I’ll be interested to see how much trouble they give me. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to give me some pro-rated value (which would be almost nothing, because used clothing has very little marketable value).

On the bright side, I’m staying at the Embassy Suites in downtown Indianapolis, which happens to have a skybridge to a mall. Looks like I’m going shopping this morning!

01:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

July 08, 2006

By the Community, For the Community

Microsoft rounded up some MVPs (including myself), and started up a program called By the Community, For the Community. Essentially, the developer community gets to vote on which of several projects we will build and deploy every few weeks. Each project (including source code) will be freely downloadable for you to use and extend. So get on over there and vote.

10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)