Valet mishap leaves woman without passport, travel visa

A missing piece of luggage has turned a family’s world upside down.

The family was visiting Dallas from South Africa when one of their bags was mistakenly placed in the wrong vehicle by a valet. Now, a stranger has the wife’s passport, travel visa and a laptop with critical business information.

This family moved from Dallas to South Africa three years ago. It was supposed to be a holiday/ work trip. Now, they are desperate to find their bag last seen at Javier’s Restaurant.

Brandy Taylor has her work cut out for her since her borrowed black roller bag ended up in a stranger’s car.

“It’s rocked my world quite a bit,” she said.

Brandy and her husband, Will Taylor, moved to South Africa three years ago. He’s a writer and wildlife photographer. The family was in Dallas for three weeks on his book tour and visiting family and meeting clients for their adventure travel business.

Brandy spent a few days in Las Vegas and then flew in Friday evening to meet Will at Javier’s Mexican Restaurant. Surveillance cameras show their reunion in the parking lot. Then, it shows the moment things took a turn.

“I asked the valet driver if he would be so kind as to put my luggage into the vehicle,” Brandy said. “He must have thought we were pointing over, but I was pointing here. But shame on us for not following through with it and expecting someone else to know where to put it. So we are not blaming anyone for this. It’s just a matter of open up that back and discover you have our luggage.

Inside the bag were Brandy’s American passport and her travel visa to get to return to South Africa and stay there.

“I did have to file a claim. So I had to go to the Dallas police department. I had to go to the passport office. I had to go get pictures taken,” Brandy said. “This is time I would have been visiting clients that we have.”

“They have been customers of mine for many, many years,” said Javier Gutierrez, the restaurant’s owner. “So we just want to help out.”

In the video, the valet appears to put the bag in the Toyota FJ cruiser directly behind Brandy’s rental car. It also shows a group of people waiting for the vehicle, including a blond female driver. They have no clue Brandy’s bag is tucked in the back, and Brandy worries the driver still doesn’t know it’s there.

“I’ve been begging on social media for shares. ‘Do you know this person?’ Because it is human error,” she said. “Javier’s and his team have been wonderful to work with, but we are at a dead end right now.”

The black roller bag was borrowed from well-known Dallas chef Kent Rathbun and his wife Tracy. The tags on the bag will have their contact information.

Brandy and her family are hoping they get their bag back before Saturday when they are supposed to head back to South Africa.