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Afraid to check a bag? Canada’s missing baggage woes explained

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Deborah Cleary was furious.

When she arrived in Montreal on December 19th after a trip to Italy, she found her suitcase missing. Over a month later, Air Canada still hadn’t found her bag.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about it, worrying about it, checking online and calling Air Canada,” Cleary said Tuesday from his home in Plattsburgh, N.Y. I am desperate to get it back.”

The return to travel since the worst of the COVID crisis has been turbulent, plagued by massive flight disruptions and piles of missing luggage at airports. Airlines are therefore being asked to improve their baggage delivery systems.

“It’s broken and I think it needs to be fixed,” said Cleary, who visited the Montreal airport two weeks ago to search for the bag in a sea of ​​unclaimed luggage. Couldn’t find it.

However, after CBC News contacted Air Canada, Cleary learned that her suitcase was being sent to her home on Friday.

“I am very, very happy,” she said. “I almost gave up. I was never going to watch it again.”

Deborah Cleary and Dan Albert of Plattsburgh, New York are still waiting to be reunited with their missing luggage on the return flight from Milan to Montreal. (submitted by Deborah Cleary)

Canada’s First Missing Baggage Confusion erupted in the summerlargely caused by staff shortages as airports and airlines rush to expand their operations.

There were high hopes for a smoother holiday travel season, until a severe winter storm hit much of Canada, delaying or canceling hundreds of flights. a Backlog of lost luggage.

Duncan Dee, a former Air Canada executive, said, “In the airline industry, delays of more than 15 minutes typically cause connection failures. “Delays equal lost luggage.”

Former Air Canada executive Duncan Dee.
Former Air Canada executive Duncan Dee said the airport needs more infrastructure funding to keep operations running smoothly during bad weather. (CBC)

Dee said airlines need to improve package tracking and the federal government should also invest more in airports.

In late December, the cold weather froze baggage belts at an international airport in Toronto.Severe snowstorm caused widespread flight delays and cancellations Vancouver international airportt.

“It’s clear that we need better infrastructure for airports, better resources, to make them more resilient to these weather events,” Dee said.

What about airlines?

When asked about the recent travel disruptions this week, Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra said the airport would get the necessary tools, but did not elaborate.

On the baggage issue, he pointed to the airline.

At an event in Hamilton, he said, “It’s very frustrating when people talk about days without luggage. Airlines should do more.”

His comments follow some of the recent Media coverage of air passenger suffering to find the missing luggage

They include The Story of Nakita Reese and Tom Wilson of Cambridge, Ontario, who fought Air Canada for over four months to retrieve Wilson’s missing suitcase.

look | |A couple in Ontario said they lost their luggage, but it wasn’t:

Air Canada said the couple’s luggage was lost.AirTags indicated otherwise

One couple said Air Canada donated their luggage to charity just a month after it was lost en route to Pearson Airport in Toronto. They tracked it down to a storage locker.

The bag went missing on a flight home from Greece in September. The couple had an AirTag her tracker in their suitcase so they could track their movements to a nearby storage facility in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Reese informed Air Canada of the bag’s whereabouts, but Air Canada assumed the bag was lost.

“The most frustrating thing about it is that despite knowing the location and telling the airline multiple times, there was no way to get it,” Reese said. It’s new, so I don’t think airlines even know how to use that information.”

The couple finally got their suitcases back this week — then their story was picked up by the media.

Airline response

Other passengers have also complained Regarding a similar experience when tracking a lost package with Airtag.

Dee, a former Air Canada executive, said airlines typically track packages by scanning baggage tags, and that system is currently not compatible with air-tracking technology.

“It’s just that airline processes haven’t kept up with the technology available,” he said. “Currently, no airline in the world has the ability to accept information from travelers.”

Alghabra suggested airlines need to change with the times.

“I’ve heard how Amazon can identify where an item is located. [are at] “It’s frustrating that airlines have not yet modernized their baggage handling systems,” he said.

Air Canada told CBC News that it is always looking for new technology. The airline added that baggage delivery rates have returned to normal after the stormy holiday weather.

In Reese’s case, the baggage tag had fallen from her suitcase, Air Canada said. The airline did not disclose how the couple’s bags were eventually found, but indicated that he could receive $2,300 in compensation he received for the lost luggage.

WestJet said it has initiated a strategic review to fine-tune its baggage system. “[We] We are working with our third-party service partners to ensure improvements in this area,” spokeswoman Madison Kruger said in an email.

baggage compensation

travelers can Charge up to about $2,350 for baggage Lost or delayed on international flights. Airlines have their own rules for delayed baggage on domestic flights.

Alghabra’s office told CBC News this week that the government is looking for ways to strengthen air passenger rights, including delays and lost baggage.

Passenger Cleary had applied for compensation for her lost bag, but said recovering it would have been a better outcome.

“I’d rather have my bag back than money from Air Canada.”

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