Over a week after a couple of potent winter storms slowed operations to a halt at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), hundreds of people are still missing their luggage.
About 99 per cent of flights are running and about the same percentage of luggage is being processed at the airport and moved out on time, YVR stated in an update Tuesday (Jan. 3).
But nearly 1,500 pieces of luggage that were misplaced or delayed during the snowstorms still haven't been reunited with their owners.
Many Metro Vancouverites have taken to social media to express their frustration after attempting to get their bags from the airport. In one instance, a man spent several hours locating his checked baggage even though the plane never left the ground; the flight was cancelled after he had checked it with WestJet due to inclement weather.
Heading into the airport, a Toronto woman said she spent days in Vancouver over the Christmas holidays without her carry-on luggage that Air Canada had promised would meet her at YVR after she landed; it contained her daughter's life-saving medication.
After returning to the airport to look for their Air Canada luggage, the frustrated traveller noticed that there wasn't any security around and was concerned that someone stole it. The family located the carry-on luggage on Boxing Day, Dec. 26, which was four days after their flight landed in Vancouver.
Now, multiple travellers are still waiting for their luggage to arrive several days into the new year. In some instances, people have been waiting upwards of 10 days to receive their bags.
Aimee Bachand tweeted that WestJet says it is available to chat with customers 24/7 but that she has tree unanswered messages.
@WestJet I was told to DM you about our bags that have been missing for 13 days… your bio says available 24/7. I’ve got three messages sitting unanswered and no luggage.— Aimee Bachand (@aimee_bachand) January 2, 2023
Another person took to the social media platform to note that there was only one representative working at the Flair Airlines desk that deals with check-ins and luggage submissions. They added that "this is the major reason why flights are delayed."
This is the counter of flair airlines at YVR. Only one person working for the checkins and luggage submission. Look how much is the line up. This is the major reason why flights are delayed. @FlairAirlines @yvrairport pic.twitter.com/XQi2Y9M59K— Abhay Sondhi (@3996AB) January 2, 2023
A man says his brother only received his luggage on Monday (Jan. 2) after flying from Berlin, Germany over a week ago on Dec. 20, 2022. After spending a few days in Vancouver, he was informed that his bags were in Calgary and that they would be delivered to him.
While they were never delivered to him, he was able to collect them from the airport on Monday.
My brothers flight from berlin was on the 20th.— Aaron Ottho 🇺🇦 🕊 (@aottho) December 30, 2022
It now the 29th.
He's been in Canada 9 days.
He's been in Vancouver 6 days.
But his luggage is still in Calgary @FlyYYC
Eventually @AirCanada might get it to @yvrairport so it can join this pile... https://t.co/NLgO4wYAZf
Wintry Vancouver weather created long-term luggage chaos at YVR
Scores of other travellers to YVR say they've spent a great deal of money on personal items while in the city without their luggage. Further, they aren't hearing any communication from the major airlines on what will happen next.
In one tweet, a group that flew from New Zealand said that they were instructed to call a phone number. After multiple attempts with no one answering the phone, a woman from the group tweeted: "Can someone please help us?"
@WestJet lost my luggage 9 days ago, I've been trying to reach out but no answer. I need the reimbursement for all the money I'm spending on buying personal items, clothes, etc. Terrible service and poor management.— Diastema (@_FioFioFio) December 31, 2022
Hey @WestJet. Still no update on my bag sitting at @yvrairport since the 19th. It never even flew anywhere. We’re getting close to 2 weeks now with no updates. This is unacceptable. Are you going to start compensating folks while you do nothing with their luggage?— Shauna (she/her) 🌈 queer creative entrepreneur (@entreprenqueer) December 31, 2022
I was told on December 28th that my lost baggage was on a @WestJet flight from Edmonton To Vancouver and would be landing around 4:00 PM— Sgt Fidget (@SgtFidget) January 3, 2023
According to the tracking info as of right now, it's still on that flight and hasn't landed in Vancouver 🙂
Ugh….9 days and nothing? It’s been 5 days already for me and nothing. At least ours was lost on the way home and we are not the guy who was in front of me in the baggage claim just arrived for a ski trip without his baggage. Ski trip ruined.— J Dunswaters (@lifetrax) January 2, 2023
@FlyAirNZ One of our group flew Air New Zealand from Auckland to Vancouver on Dec 30th (NZ24) and their baggage was lost. We called 604-247-0219 as instructed repeatedly today and no-one is answering the phone. Can someone please help us??— Maddelena Ponter (@MVPonter) December 31, 2022
Some travellers are attempting to inject some levity into an otherwise stressful and costly situation, however.
A Toronto comedian had a comedic take on her lost luggage situation with WestJet. She spoke about her missing belongings as if they were a lover, crafting her tweets with poetic flair.
My dearest @Westjet. It has now been 9 long days since being separated from my beloved (bag). Though I am soldiering through, I fear my resolve of ever being reunited is waning. Every day I wake, thinking of you. Hoping for some sweet words of reconciliation, but alas... pic.twitter.com/COlkxsGcl5— Diana Frances (@dianafrancesvan) January 2, 2023
In response to her passionate quips, Canada's second-largest airline wrote in a tweet: "Diana, your desire sends shivers down our spine, and we are moving heaven and earth to reunite you with your beloved. Please sweetly whisper in a private message your baggage claim number, reservation code, WestJet Rewards ID and email address."
Passengers who arrive without the luggage should follow up with their airline and start a claim for their checked bag. They can do that at the airport or online with the airline, according to YVR.
Find out everything you need to know about lost luggage in our comprehensive travel guide.
With files from Maria Rantanen.