Travelling for an exhibition can be quite complicated. Especially when your luggage gets lost with the material you need to do your job at the best. Or at all.
The exhibition was in Beirut, at the international exposition hall, which had been heavily damaged in the 2020 explosion. “Project Lebanon” is a massive exhibition for construction material and equipment and it is a crucial event for the Middle East with visitors and exhibitors from all over the world.
The flight was booked with Turkish Airlines, which meant a stopover in Istanbul on my way to Beirut. That was great. I was looking forward to seeing the new international airport in Istanbul, which was said to be huge. It was very much so.
Unfortunately, a stopover with a heavy luggage can be risky. The luggage, and everything I needed for the booth, didn’t arrive with me in Beirut.
That was the beginning of the adventure. After the mandatory discussion with the “Lost and Found” office I filled in of all the paperwork and I took my car transfer to the hotel. Whenever I travel with heavy luggage, I always take a limo transfer from the airport.
That was my stroke of luck. I met a very nice driver, who was kind enough to give me his phone number, so I could call him the next morning to go and collect the luggage at the airport (assuming it would arrive).
I didn’t get any news about my bags until the following morning. But when news came, it was good. My luggage was at the airport, ready to be collected. The driver came and picked me up at the hotel and stood with me through the whole process, which was fortunate as I had to back and forth several times.
First stop: Lost and Found office where we got a document to collect the luggage;
Second stop: Custom, on the opposite side of the airport. Here, probably I would not have succeeded without the help of the driver;
Third Stop: Several offices around the airport to get the signature which allowed me to actually collect the luggage;
Fourth stop: Back to the lost and Found office to show the signed paper;
Fifth stop: The warehouse. A custom officer led us to a warehouse where tons of forgotten piece of luggage lied, waiting to be collected.
Sixth Stop: After a long search I was finally able to locate my suitcase and after one final check I could leave the airport to go to the exhibition.
While all of the above was happening, I also had to organize everything while the exhibition was running, which was no joke.
Thanks to the help of my driver, who was super helpful while I was dealing with a very stressful situation, I was able to go back to the exhibition without further delay and I got back with a positive impression about a country I had never visited before.