JACKSONVILLE - This city at the top of the Florida peninsula is home to the headquarters of the American Tourister and Samsonite brands of luggage. And the company makes a luggage brand less well known - Amelia Earhart Luggage.
Now, the company's executives are facing a public relations nightmare they never could have imagined would happen to them. The Amelia Earhart luggage of their best customer, John Smith, went missing the second time he used the luggage bags.
"I always thought this was an urban myth," Mr. Smith said. "Then," he continued, "it happened to me. I'm not laughing anymore."
"I first used the luggage on a trip from California to Hawaii," Mr. Smith explained. "And the trip went wonderfully. I have to say that the luggage really lived up to its reputation. It held up fine, what with all the inspectors, baggage handlers, and conveyor belts. Besides, I really did not want to be superstitious."
"After staying in Hawaii for three days, I then packed and got ready for the second leg of my trip," Mr. Smith continued. "I had planned a trip to Japan for the longest time. I have to admit to you I felt some trepidation as I packed my bags, and headed to the airport. Everyone has heard all of the legends and myths about Amelia Earhart, her endorsed line of luggage, and flying to Japan with those bags on board. Well, I tried to put them out of my mind."
"I took a taxi to the airport," Mr. Smith went on to explain. "The cab driver was very helpful. He helped me put my luggage in the taxi's trunk, and we left for the flight. We were about half of the way to the airport, when the taxi driver asked me where I was going. I told him Japan. He became strangely silent. He then told me he had noticed my bags were the Amelia Earhart brand, and I confirmed this. He then asked me if I had heard of the curse. I asked him, what curse'?"
"Very bad," the taxi driver said. "There are people who have flown from Hawaii to Japan using Amelia Earhart luggage, and once they got on the airplane, they were never heard from again," he explained. "I told him that's just an urban legend, and I was not going to go along with something so silly," Mr. Smith related.
"No," the taxi driver insisted. "It's true. It happened to a friend of mine." "I felt a lump in my throat, and my mouth got dry," Mr. Smith went on. "Well, I just decided this was nonsense, and told him that was not going to make me change my plans, or my luggage."
"I got on the airplane, and we took off without a hitch," Mr. Smith went on. "Then, half of the way across the ocean, we hit some terrible turbulence, and I heard a frightening noise coming from below the cabin floor. When we landed, everyone had his bags except for me. I got goose bumps. I'm just glad to be alive."