As unclaimed baggage continues to pile up at Pearson International Airport, a local resident has been searching for his bags for 16 days after arriving in Toronto.
The man, who identified himself as Dean, told CP24 on Saturday afternoon that he flew in from Calgary on a direct flight, landing around 12:30 a.m. on June 17. He said he was asked at the last minute to check his bag.
For three hours, he waited for his bags, but she did not turn up. Then he waited in customer service queue for an hour, getting no answer for his bags.
After more than two weeks, they are nowhere to be found.
Dean said, “I’ve been back to the airport three times now. It’s been 16 days and there’s no sign of my bag. I’ve searched these 2,000 bags here over and over to find my bag. Nothing.” .
He added that he called customer service repeatedly and even submitted a claim, however there are no updates on where his bags are.
“My only option was to actually come here and talk to customer service,” Dean said. “They helped me as much as they could, but…my bag is in limbo.”
It’s just one of many thousands of travelers who desperately sought their bags at Canada’s largest airport. Thousands of bags lie idle in the baggage claim area at Pearson Airport, waiting to be picked up by their owners. On social media, travelers continue to express their anger as they plead with airlines to find their bags.
According to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson, baggage liability is shared between different groups. The airline and the contracted ground handling company are responsible for baggage handling, including baggage removal from the aircraft, induction of the baggage system and the rate at which bags are loaded onto the carriage.
“A number of issues over the past several days have led to baggage challenges. These include flight delays and cancellations, staff shortages with our airline partners, and temporary mechanical disruptions to the baggage system,” the authority said in a statement.
According to FlightAware data provided to CTV News Toronto, 7.7 percent of scheduled flights in Canada were canceled last month, compared to 1.6 percent in 2019 before the pandemic. It also found that of the flights scheduled in June, 49.5 percent were delayed.
“We have worked with airlines to ensure that unclaimed bags are removed from the rotors and placed in the baggage hall to make room for bags from other flights.”
Dean said he hopes to get his bags back soon when he travels again next week.
He said, “I don’t have my bag. I don’t have my things. It was very frustrating.”
Dean added that airlines need to communicate better with their customers.
“Whether it’s a supply chain shortage or staffing shortage or mechanic, whatever it is, there should be more communications for airlines because that’s ridiculous,” he said.
“I just feel so sorry everyone is waiting for their bags. These are vacations that are ruined. People have been waiting for hours and hours to get the bag and were so frustrated. If you look around here, it’s just one stop. Maybe Terminal 3 has more bags, who knows?” “