We are back in Miami. The return journey was notable for its length, and especially for the ineptitude of baggage handling at MIA on our flight from Chicago. I'm used to the idea that you never get a bag off a plane in less than 29 minutes — the airport boasts that 95% of flights get their first bag within 30 minutes — but 50 minutes? For a domestic flight? On a weekday evening?
Someone did manage to get three or four bags off our flight about 35 minutes after we landed — and I bet they log it as within 30 minutes — but the fact is that not one more bag came off until about 50 minutes after the flight landed, so pretty much the entire plane's passengers were there (mostly tourists from the look of them) getting more and more steamed in the hot, crowded, low ceilinged baggage claim area around carousel 24.
MIA is festooned with signs bragging that it was selected as the 'airport of the year' last year.
About the 45 minute mark I went to the nearby baggage handling desk to ask if they had a complaint form. The man looked at me as if I was insane, or speaking a language he never heard of. Once that failed to drive me off, he started tapping on his computer screen. No, they don't have complaint forms, but there's a long-distance number you can call 24/7 or a PO Box you can write to. The lady behind me in the line said she was there for the same reason – to find out what they'd done with our flight's bags.
I was afraid I might know what was going on: could it be that the ramp rats were back? (In the past MIA has been plagued with a baggage theft ring.)
In the end, the bags appeared, and we dragged ourselves home.