Air Canada Blames Weather for the Delayed Baggage “Pileup” at YUL
Air Canada says it is doing its best to reunite air travelers with their checked bags, but customers say that weather is not the cause of piles and piles of unclaimed luggage in the baggage claim areas at the airport in Montreal. Meanwhile, airline employees confess that they are too understaffed to quickly get delayed bags to passengers.
Air Canada passengers at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) say that claiming checked bags has been no easy task to accomplish in recent days. The airline blames a string of rough weather for the piles of luggage reportedly piling up at at the airport, but some flyers say that there doesn’t seem to be much method behind the maddening scene at baggage claim and airline employees privately say that they are too understaffed to deliver delayed bags to passengers as promised.
“It looks like a thousand bags,” Air Canada passenger Yvett Niyomugaba told CBC News earlier this week. “I was very worried I would never find them, so I was saying to my husband that I might start having bags with different colors.”
Niyomugaba added that after the airline failed to deliver her delayed bags as promised, she returned to the airport the following day in an attempt to locate the luggage herself, but found the job a bit overwhelming. In addition to considering more easily identifiable bags, the frequent flyer says she will make a greater effort to avoid checking any items with the airline at all.
“When you travel, travel light,” Niyomugaba told reporters. “That’s all I can say.”
She is by no means alone in her frustration. One flyer described Air Canada’s treatment of customers’ belongings as less secure than “a coat check at any restaurant.” Passengers report having to return to the airport and climb over piles of bags to locate their luggage after the airline failed to make good on promises to deliver the delayed bags.
Air Canada says that what appears to be random mounds of luggage in the airport are actually bags that have been staged prior to in-person delivery to their owners. Airline officials insist the bags are securely stored and monitored by security cameras.
“We understand the importance to customers of arriving with their bags and do our utmost to achieve this, but sometimes it is not possible during irregular operations as our priority is to move customers as quickly as it is safe to do so,” an Air Canada spokesperson told CBC in a statement.