United Airlines Lost My Magic!
I was on my way to perform magic for children with life threatening illnesses when United Airlines lost my magic (my luggage).
I am a seasoned traveler, so prior to flying I had made sure there were more flights after mine that would allow me and my luggage to arrive in time if there were any delays, cancellations, or lost luggage.
I was on my way to perform at a fundraiser for Miracles and Magic in Columbus, Ohio. I have a tracker called Tile in each of my bags, so when my flight took off from Frankfurt, Germany, I was could see that my three suitcases full of magic props were not on my flight. I asked the flight attendant to check and the pilot sent a message back to me confirming my biggest fear, that my magic was not on the plane. On my behalf, the flight attendant sent a message to find a route to get my gear to the show in time. She sent a message back to me that nothing could be done until I land. Serious frustration set in as I had 9 more hours in the air.
The moment I landed in Chicago, I got the United Premier desk on the phone. They had me call baggage services. No help! I go to United baggage claim and the official story is that they cannot start the process of having my bags travel from Frankfurt to Columbus until I arrive at my final destination. Translation is that the no one would help. I had to get to Columbus first and precious time was ticking by. I tried everything including explaining that if my show doesn’t arrive, children with life threatening illnesses would not get to see my magic show. I tried escalating to supervisors. I asked every person to go bat for me and to call, email, or text me with information positive or negative. No one got back to me.
To make things worse, my flight from Chicago to Columbus was delayed 7+ hours due to airplane malfunctions. I spent those 7+ hours talking to customer service in person, gate agents, baggage claim on the phone, and the United Premier desk. It was a broken record, no one would let me start the process of retrieving the bags until I physically arrived in Columbus. I missed the Friday evening rehearsal…
I finally arrive in Columbus just before midnight and the baggage claim lady started the process of retrieving my bags from Frankfurt. She did not ask for my claim tickets nor did she check my ID. There is NO reason that United couldn’t have started 20 hours earlier via the phone. I call bullshit!
My luggage finally arrived 5 hours after I finished the 2nd show and to add insult to injury, they reeked of cigarette smoke.
I have been a Gold member of United for years and I have been reaching out to the airlines requesting that they make a donation to this fantastic charity as compensation. I have received no answers to my requests. I feel that the airline really failed me, the charity, and most importantly the kids who deserve it the most.
Please help me reach @United #United and ask them to donate to #MiraclesAndMagic because #UnitedLostTheMagic and the kids with life threatening illnesses deserve a little #magic in their lives.
Because of the kindness of local magicians in Columbus, I was able to borrow some magic tricks. And because of the fantastic charity volunteers, I was given deodorant and a change of clothes. It was not the show I had hoped to perform, but below are some amazing photos that were taken at the event.
I must say that I was deeply moved after meeting the brave children battling their illnesses, their parents who are fighting for their kids with all of their heart, the fellow entertainers who are as talented as they are generous, and all of the volunteers who selflessly give their time to make miracles happen both metaphorically and literally.
@United airlines lost my magic show when I was on my way to entertain children with life threatening illnesses. :-…
From the Miracles and Magic website:
The Miracles & Magic Foundation is an organization that provides life experiences to children who are currently fighting life-threatening illnesses. At the heart of Miracles & Magic is a comedy magic and illusion show. It features the best magicians in the world coming together to help these children and their families forget, if only for a few hours, about the shots, hospital beds, treatments and other daily challenges they face. Instead, they experience the wonder, laughter and emotion of the magic and entertainers.
How We Got Started
The idea of Miracles & Magic was inspired by a chance meeting in a hospital when Jon Petz, a corporate magician and keynote speaker, was asked to perform for a child fighting a horrible illness. The result of that experience led Jon and his wife Stacey to find ways to share that magical experience in addition to raising funds to aid their recovery efforts.
Miracles & Magic began in 2002 in High School Theater in Dublin, Ohio. We were fortunate to provide a couple hundred children and their families to a wonderful show. Since that first show, the event has grown, expanded to new cities, added a Friday night opening party event and in total raised nearly $1,500,000. These funds raised have been through amazing sponsors and donors along with public ticket sales for the shows.
Why We Are Here
Our hope and plan is to continue to be able to provide life experiences for children fighting a life threatening illness along with their family members.
Who We Support
Miracles and Magic supports many causes by donating funds. These have included:
A Kid Again
James Cancer Hospital
Children’s Miracle Network
American Diabetes Association
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Kosher Children’s Hospital
Please consider sharing, commenting, tweeting, liking, and/or making a little donation. More information here: http://www.miraclesandmagic.com
Photos by Mark Williams and Deborah Mayton