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A New Hampshire woman who spent part of December in Europe gathering Christmas presents for friends and family returned home only to find the gifts had been stolen and replaced with unwanted items in her luggage.
Gina Sheldon spent 11 days in Italy and a few days in Paris on what she told NBC Boston was an “Eat, Pray, Love” vacation. She collected about $3,000 worth of gifts along the way, packed them all in her third suitcase, and headed home.
But when Sheldon got home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and opened her luggage, the gifts were gone. In their place were cans of dog food, shaving cream, and dirty t-shirts.
“It was incredible,” Sheldon said. “My first reaction was ‘wait, I took someone else’s bag.’”
She had packed the suitcase in Paris and dropped it at the airport for her flight home to Boston. She told WMUR-TV that she suspects the switch happened at Charles DeGaulle Airport in France.
“When it goes through the scan and it continued on its journey, it looks like a real luggage product,” she said about the objects that ended up in her bag.
Sheldon had booked her flight through Delta Airlines, with the flight home operated by Air France. Sheldon told NBC Boston she spent hours trying to get through to Delta but couldn’t get an answer.
“We apologize for this customer’s experience following Air France flight 334. We have affirmatively connected with our partners at Air France and the customer to find a resolution,” Delta said in a statement.
Delta said it has also connected with Sheldon and walked her through the process for filing a claim.
The missing items included a leather jacket she had bought for her 16-year-old child, several leather purses and satchels, and other items which she had bought during her trip.
Whether the claim will get anywhere is unknown, but Sheldon seems to be taking the incident in good spirits.
“I went to a friend’s house for a holiday party and I had all these different gifts to give them,” she said. “Instead, I walked in with a bottle of champagne and a good story.”
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