Justine, a Cameroonian lady working in France will not be walking down the aisle this weekend in the wedding gown that took months of customization.
Her gown, souvenirs for guests and other luggage were left behind in a transit flight in Morocco, from France.
Upon arrival at the Nsimalen International Airport in Yaounde, her excitement to reunite with family turned sour when she realized all she had was her hand bag and the clothes she had on.
Moving from one country to another and meeting your luggage upon arrival has become a rare luxury enjoyed by a few.
It is either left at the point of departure or no one knows what happened to it while on transit.
The bride-to-be was not the only passenger with missing luggage.
CRTV’s team from the just-ended Women’s Africa Cup of Nations could not find their luggage upon return in Yaounde.
“The airport security explained to us that no bag was part of the flight that left Casablanca for Yaounde that day. It will only be sent a week later,” explained Irene, a team member as she left the luggage-claim area.
Even the Indomitable lionesses who were just from representing Cameroon in the same competition left the airport empty handed.
“I received voice notes from the airport authority in Morocco telling me that our luggage will be sent the following day but it never came. I was careful enough to call the airport in Yaounde each time to be sure that our things had arrived before leaving Yaounde for Nsimalen. Finally, I had to buy a toothbrush because everything was left behind,” continued Irene, the head of CRTV’s mission to Morocco.
Inside sources from the Cameroon Football Federation – FECAFOOT revealed that the players plying their trade in Europe left for their clubs without their belongings.
A lady whose name we got as Charlene told the CRTV, “I lived like a stranger in my own home because the key to my room was in one of my boxes. I bought a few personal belongings as I squatted in my children’s room for a week.”
Justine was unconsolable as she tearfully explained the huge impact the missing luggage has on her wedding.
“My wedding is coming up in two days and my bags containing my wedding gown, all the souvenirs we bought for our guests, not even a pin is here,” she lamented.
Her hopes were further dashed when one of the passengers told her that her luggage is only arriving two weeks later and she hasn’t been compensated for the damages.
People have told stories of how their luggage went missing and they bore the losses.
Calistus Jong who is a regular traveler has lost valuable items on several occasions.
“I remember travelling with two different airlines who never gave me my luggage and have never compensated me despite the requests I made. I have learned to include my valuables in my hand luggage to avoid similar scenarios,” he said.
Authorities of the airlines concerned have always maintained sealed lips as to why luggage abandonment has become recurrent.