A tale of a week in frosty London

Source: Mr.Mangion¸ PKF Malta

As published  on Sunday 17th February 2013 in the Sunday Independent

It was a grey and frosty day in London which saw me attending to the opening of a two day Captive Live conference. It was held on Wednesday 12 th and 13 th of this month at the prestige Grand Hotel located at no 8 Northumberland Avenue and was sponsored by Barclays¸Qatar ¸ Guernsey ¸FinanceMalta ¸Wells Fargo ¸Robus ¸PKF ¸ Kane and others.Unfortunately having landed the previous Sunday at Heathrow on KM 102 evening flight my luggage did not arrive.The Alitalia agent for AirMalta told me to relax as the luggage will soon be returned to the comfort of my hotel in London next morning.

A small piece of paper was all I got instead of the luggage containing my personal belongings kitted out for a seven day stay.This receipt showed the time of arrival¸file number¸colour of luggage and size and lastly its tag number. Very reassuring you might say and after sitting for over three hours ( put the seat belts on ) and about one hour delay waiting for the aircraft clearance your mind will be focused on the quickest way to reach he comfort of your hotel. However ¸as a frequent traveller I knew that the sweet smile on the assuring lips of the Lost Luggage officer was hiding something. I woke up on Monday thinking that I had better chase up Heathrow to get the good news that my personal toothbrush¸my conference brochures ( two conferences one in London followed by another in Paris )  and two suits were on their way to my hotel. What a joke. it took me and my office staff in Malta three gruelling days of phoning only to discover that last Sunday there were 3 flights out of Malta going to Heathrow¸Milan and Tripoli. My imagination ran riot and I was praying hat the luggage did not end up in a secluded Tripoli shed waiting clearance from customs.!

Upon further enquiries with the official at AirMalta staff I discovered that bag handling is indeed subcontracted at Gudja airport. When I asked for information on my bag tag as listed on  the flight cargo manifest the reply came that AirMalta’s tracking system does not record single tag numbers ( as for Lufthansa and others ) but only the aggregate number of bags loaded. This I prayed will force me to buy a replacement suit¸ toiletries etc but of course miss the conference on Tuesday and Wednesday .Surreptitiously the luggage arrived mysteriously on Wednesday at 22 hrs all safe and sound as if it played truant on me. AirMalta as a concession allowed my office to send a replacement hand luggage which was delivered to my hotel on Tuesday afternoon. So is all well that ends well ? No so easy since my mental disposition as a speaker facing hundreds of executives  dressed in their finest pin stripped suits was quite jolted  knowing I was outfitted in business casual but it all ended well except for the missing conference marketing material including pen drives. So after a long introduction may I apologise for transgressing talking on my unfortunate experience and proceed to comment on the Captive Live conference held in pomp and grandeur at the Grand next to Trafalgar Square. Naturally many jurisdictions and their respective in