Monday, 24 January 2011

Making Travelling Safer

 Domodedovo airport made me so uneasy when I went through a couple of years ago that last year I had only carry-on luggage.  On the previous occasion the arrivals hall was strewn with suitcases and packages of all shapes and sizes that had been man-handled off the luggage carousels and cast aside to be kicked all over the floors as people searched for their cases.  I found mine because it was dropped with particular annoyance by another passenger and I picked the case up to put it out of harms' way from where it lay in the middle of the concourse.  It was looking just like my luggage but then so was everybody else's.  All luggage looks alike, even the cases with a red ribbon tied on, or a special strap, look like other beribboned and strapped cases.   Mr HG had gone off efficiently to make enquiries and had located his case with a frightened-looking official he had rustled up.  (Goodness knows what had been said, I don't think there's a Book of Complaints in these countries any more.)

So the last time we were both  holding our respective, capacious handbags tightly as we nipped hastily through to the car.  Anything could be dumped in that arrivals hall and be there for days.  Anyone could behave oddly in the midst of that confusion, indeed everybody was behaving like people who have lost their luggage in a strange country.  

Perhaps it would be best if travellers  carry only a single bag and keep it with them at all times.  Those who have stuff they want elsewhere must send it freight. 


Nomad said...

Agreed HG, both Moscow airports leave something to be desired. One year at Sheremetyevo I had to jump over a moving conveyor to collect a parcel which had simply been dumped and left by one of the unloaders.

Many years ago I bought a few sturdy lockable case straps with either name and/or initials embroidered into them. Makes everything much easier to find as the carousel rolls by and far more effective than bits of red ribbon tied to a case handle. You can still find the company's ads in various magazines and at about a tenner apiece they are good value for money for frequent travellers.

Look<a href= "​Straps-and-Travel.asp> here </a>.

Nomad said...

Sorry, didn't close the ref properly. Cut and paste will take you to the site.

hatfield girl said...

On the whole, Nomad, I'm reverting to the view that driving is probably the most peaceful way to get about, at least for the near abroad. Expensive? yes. But at least one's fate is - mostly - not in others' hands.

In a decent car the convenience, interest and comfort compensate for the extended journey time. Russia is a bit far but I'm not planning to go there any more. Nor do I care if I don't see America again. The pleasure of continental Europe is that most of it is lovely and it's all so close together.

Australia is a bit of a driving problem though.

Nomad said...

So is New Zealand - but not once you get there! Earthquakes, bush fires and floods notwithstaqnding of course!

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Go here:

Russia is quite possible, though perhaps a bit time-consuming.

stephen said...

Sounds as although things have improved on the premodernisation Domededevo however. Back in the mid 90s after checking in for the first time you then had to go and play chicken with taxiing planes in order to get to the Intourist terminal, that was of course if there wasn't a busdriver available to bribe to take you there. I do remember once when the Intourist passengers were allowed last onto the plane using a Swiss army penknife to screw the remaining seat back together - good job I did as later passengers were made to sit in the toilets!

On the subject of the recent bomb at Domededevo you may be interested to note how this idiot blames it all on Putin's corruption and how it has made the KGB less than ruthlessly efficient. Anyone who has had some involvement with Russia will know that things are never than simple.