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Lost luggage the leftovers of turbulent holiday travel season

A huge section filled with lost luggage at the Winnipeg airport is what is leftover of a turbulent holiday travel season for some passengers.

Many passengers who came through the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport are still waiting to get their luggage – among them, Jesse Glass is on the hunt for his.

Even though his flight arrived Wednesday, Glass is still waiting for his luggage to arrive.

“I’ve been back now four times today,” he told CTV News. “They don’t know where my bag is, they have no idea what’s going on.”

He’s not alone. A huge pile of luggage litters the Winnipeg airport, waiting for owners like Rodrigo Riquelme who went to Chile on holiday and never got his suitcase.

“Honestly, it’s a little bit stressful when that happened,” Riquelme said. “It’s not something you would like to happen to you, especially when you’re going for holidays, you know?”

The Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) says this is all a trickle-down effect from problems experienced by the airlines over the holidays.

“Any time there is a delay and cancellation, that risk of potentially being separated from your baggage slightly increases as you’re re-booked or try to find another flight to get home or where you want to be,” said Michel Rosset, the manager of communications with the WAA.

WestJet is still sifting through the leftover luggage.

“Our baggage teams across our network continue to sort through the delivery of baggage after the large backlog of cancellations experienced over the holidays but they are working around the clock to get them moving and delivered to our guests as fast as possible,” a prepared statement from WestJet reads.

“We sincerely apologize for the impact this has had on guests and appreciate their patience as we work to deliver their baggage as quickly as possible.”

Air Canada tells CTV News the bags belonging to its customers will be returned as soon as possible.

Glass is certainly hoping for a fast return of his luggage – inside it are the tools the gas fitter needs for his job up north.

“I’m probably going to get sent back home if I don’t have my tools within two days,” he said. “They’re not going to keep paying for my hotel, I’ll lose about $10,000 in wages. Basically, all of my time wasted.”

The WAA said it’s very difficult to predict when the problem will be resolved, as it’s dependent on the airlines that are responsible for the baggage. Anyone missing their baggage should reach out to their airline as soon as they can. 

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