My bf came home the other night from work (as an Air France agent at LAX) and told me this rather amusing story. He's been helping with baggage services, i.e., trying to match lost bags with their owners. One afternoon a bag came from CDG and had what turns out to be an incorrect bag tag. The bag was tagged at CDG to transfer from AF at LAX onto flight SW338 to TUC. Well, such a flight doesn't exist at LAX, so the bag was never transferred to another plane. My bf started scratching his head. First he checked the IATA code SW: it belongs to Air Namibia, which doesn't serve LAX at all. It gets more interesting: the airport code TUC belongs to an airport in Argentina. Although he wasn't sure, he had a hunch that the named African carrier doesn't serve Argentina either. He checked the passenger's record, and it had the same information (possibly entered by whomever checked the passenger in at CDG). Finally he gets an idea: he checks Southwest's schedule, and sure enough, there's a WN flight 338 from LAX to Tucson, AZ. Their conclusion was that somewhere, somehow, someone had to manually enter the data into the passenger's record and entered SW for Southwest and TUC for Tucson (instead of WN and TUS as it should have been, although the ICAO for WN is SWA so it wasn't that far off). The bag is now in its owners hands!
Anybody else has a similar story of bags being sent to the wrong place or improperly tagged? Please share!
Also, I'm not an expert on the scheduling and reservations tools available to airline/airport agents. Is it possible that this mistake could/should have been caught earlier? I've heard that WN sometimes doesn't show up in the computer system of travel agencies. Any info on this? Thanks!