Checking your bag on Royal Air Maroc isn’t a good idea

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Or ‘Checking your bag on Royal Air Maroc isn’t a good idea… Checking bags seems to always cause more problems than it solves. Of course, there are times perhaps when it’s inevitable to have to check a bag. You might be bringing certain goodies with you that aren’t allowed through security, your bag may not fit in the overhead bin, etc. But the best bet no matter how much you hate carrying your bags is to avoid checking in your bags as much as possible, even if it’s free. The truth of this statement was magnified for me recently when flying on Royal Air Maroc in a domestic flight.

Toward the end of May my family and I went on a vacation to Morocco on points, and I managed to convince my parents to come with us. Another friend of the family also joined in. My parents have traveled every year for as long as I can remember, but usually within America. They’ve been to most countries in America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, Mexico, and Costa Rica among others. Twice before, in 2012 then 2014, we visited Thailand and Zimbabwe, respectively. My point is that they’ve traveled more than the regular person. Still, my mom seems unable to pack a small bag. 🙂 It appears, however, that everyone in our group took note and followed suit.

 

Checking our bags in

I’m pretty sure throughout their whole trip they checked their bags in, but this was Royal Air Maroc. I personally had never flown the airline before, but had seen some good reviews. Besides, at the end of our trip we only needed a quick flight from Fes to Casablanca to fly back home, so surely it would be just fine. I did read negative reviews about issues with baggage, but it didn’t concern me. And so we check in our bags in Fes.

Upon arrival in Casablanca, we received all bags, but one: my dad’s. We waited and waited. Nothing. The baggage claim belt was turned off… Darn it! I already know how this story goes, particularly in North Africa – EgyptAir lost me a bag once flying from Cairo to Amman, and that was the beginning of just over a year long battle to get compensation. It was painful. I would’ve been ok if it had been my bag, but it was my dad’s and I was responsible for bringing him and my mom there. Ugh! Our flight was the first out in the morning and it was empty. There couldn’t have been more than 10 pieces of luggage in that flight!

I walk over to the baggage claim counter. A lady is standing there joking with her colleagues that are some 40-50 meters away. Here’s how the conversation went, to the best of my recollection, with no exaggerations:

Me: Good morning. My family and I just flew in from Fes, and we seem to be missing a bag. Could you help us?

Fatima(I never found out her name but this would be an appropriate Moroccan woman’s name): Your bag will be sent to your final destination.

Me: My final destination is here, however, I do have a flight to catch to the US in a few hours.

Fatima: Your bag will be sent to the USA.

Me: My flight to the US is not in the same reservation as this Royal Air Maroc flight I arrived on. How do you know where to send my bag to?

Fatima: (Silence. Then asks something to her colleagues that of course I don’t understand.)

Me: Do you have a computer where you can check where my bag is? They were tagged when I checked them in.

Fatima: (Silence again.) Give me one moment. (Walks to the end of the belt that our bags came through and walks back to where we are without saying a word.)

Me: (Now I’m silent. I decide to walk over and talk to some other workers that where near the belt…as I’m walking a worker comes in through a door from behind the baggage claim area with my dad’s bag)

Fatima: (Silence.)

 

I don’t think there’s anything else I need to add to this. You can imagine how happy I was.

 

Takeaways

  • Whenever you can avoid it, don’t check your bag! Bold letters added if the airline is Royal Air Maroc
  • Just because one is used to a certain standard of customer service doesn’t mean the same standard or common sense exists in other parts of the world
  • Unfortunately, there are people who will want to steal stuff. I don’t want to accuse anyone without reason, but it’s hard for me to believe that this one bag remained behind by mistake in such an empty flight and with such little traffic
  • Keep calm. No matter what I did Fatima didn’t care about helping me and no raising my voice, gesturing etc. was going to change that. I was just fortunate that the guys from behind baggage check finally brought my bag
  • Would I fly Royal Air Maroc again? Of course I would. One thing has nothing to do with the other. I’ll just be sure that everyone in my group has carry-on only. 🙂

 

So, what are you going to do with your bags next time you fly?

Give me your thoughts