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Air Canada

Air Canada Blames Weather for the Delayed Baggage “Pileup” at YUL

Air Canada Blames Weather for the Delayed Baggage “Pileup” at YUL
Jeff Edwards

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.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (4)


  1. drvannostren

    August 23, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I love that they call her a frequent flyer, but it’s as if she’s just learned about carry-on only travel.

    I can’t speak to how the delayed bags actually started, but it’s a slow process often to get people their stuff. The staffing doesn’t help, there’s usually like 1-2 people doing it and a mountain of bags. Some bags have no tags. Some bags have tags but no info. Some have all the info but people don’t check their emails or don’t answer the phone. I’m not excusing the airline here at all, but it’s not like AC YUL is out to get people or something and I feel like the post was a little slanted that way.

  2. Antonio8069

    August 24, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    I am relieved to see this problem getting the attention it deserves. Wait times for checked bags at YUL are now + 20 minutes. I asked a staff member why? Its because AC does not have access to all the belts. I reported this problem on FT and I was shocked to receive replies from all of the YUL & AC lovers i.e. it is not that bad, YUL is better than YYZ, etc. It is about time that FTs woke up to the problem that YUL is over capacity, AC is badly handling the situation and the airport authority is powerless to intervene.

  3. UncleDude

    August 25, 2018 at 6:10 am

    With Hundreds of staff pushing paper at Nearby Head Office just a few hours weekend overtime could have the matter resolved.

  4. j2simpso

    August 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

    They call that a pile up?! I’ve seen way worse at EWR to the point where agents tells you they will deliver your bag to you!

    One thing that is surprising is that the bags clearly block a fire exit. I’m unsure if fire codes are different in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada but suspect that might be a major violation just there!

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