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AC passengers stranded in India without luggage (March 2019)

AC passengers stranded in India without luggage (March 2019)

Old Mar 18, 19, 6:47 am
  #1  
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AC passengers stranded in India without luggage (March 2019)

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We all got abandoned’: B.C. family among hundreds stranded without their luggage in India

March 17, 2019 4:47 pm - Sean Boynton Online Journalist Global News

https://globalnews.ca/news/5065585/b..._campaign=2014


QUOTES (bolding mine):

"A B.C. family is among hundreds of Canadians who have been left stranded and frustrated in India without their luggage days after their Air Canada flight flew out of Vancouver.

Johnny Birk told Global News that he and his family have been in New Delhi since early Friday morning after departing Vancouver just after midnight on Thursday. He estimates that roughly 300 passengers were on the same flight, but only 30 pieces of luggage arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport with them.

“Everyone was missing luggage,” he said. “It was literally like a riot in the airport.”

....."Birk said that since they arrived in India, two other flights have also flown into New Delhi from Vancouver — both without their luggage."

“They said one bag was in London Heathrow Airport, two of them they don’t know where they are and the others are still in Vancouver,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. Why can’t they get our bags here?”

In a statement to Global News, Air Canada blamed the issue on the renewed tensions between India and Pakistan, which has led to air travel restrictions.

“Due to the ongoing airspace closure over Pakistan, we fly a longer route, which requires more fuel, therefore restricting the weight the aircraft can safely carry,” the airline said.

“On occasion, this has resulted in some bags being delayed as we then co-ordinate the transport of bags over alternate routings. Our teams in India are reuniting bags with customers.”

Birk said that explanation has not been provided to them and that customers should have known about the issue ahead of time.

.......“What we don’t understand is why didn’t they tell us before we left Vancouver that your bags aren’t going to be there with you? Because no one would have come,” he said, adding that he’s been told by the airline that the luggage issue has been ongoing for over a week.

When asked what kind of compensation the airline is providing customers, a spokesperson for Air Canada said the company is dealing with customers on an individual basis."

***


Other comments in the article, including how pax were dealt with in India and some compensation.

My questions: If AC had told customers on these routes that due to airspace closure and possible weight restrictions due to added flight time, AC could not guarantee their luggage would fly with them, would that not have been a better opportunity for AC to get ahead of this? Does it matter is some pax would have cancelled?

As for suggesting pax have travel insurance and go buy clothes etc, Mr Birk offers his own answer in the article.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 7:12 am
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So instead of going with a balanced load, which would have meant offloading passengers too, AC uses unrelated political violence to justify taking customers’ money, knowing full well that customers would have balked having been told in advance bags were being offloaded.

truly pathetic...AC deserves the bad press here
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Old Mar 18, 19, 7:24 am
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Question what happened to positive baggage identification?

In the aftermath of AIr India, AC adopted positive baggage id wherein no passenger flies w/o their checked luggage. How does AC explain this fiasco??
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Old Mar 18, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
In the aftermath of AIr India, AC adopted positive baggage id wherein no passenger flies w/o their checked luggage. How does AC explain this fiasco??
Sorry, not relevant, Transport Canada security regulation requires airlines to make all baggage decisions, so as long as traveler does not influence routing then Air Canada could send out bags via Sherpas if they want, probably about right for this messed up operation.

ps.... in a world of agent self-destruction, as we have seen unfortunately in the last two decades, the positive baggage match approach is meaningless.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 9:45 am
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They do this routinely on the YYJ/YVR run so why is this a big deal? It's routine to see tourists arrive at YYJ and be told their car seat/stroller/baby supplies were left in YVR and won't be over for a few hours.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
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*****

We all got abandoned’: B.C. family among hundreds stranded without their luggage in India

March 17, 2019 4:47 pm - Sean Boynton Online Journalist Global News

https://globalnews.ca/news/5065585/b..._campaign=2014


QUOTES (bolding mine):

"A B.C. family is among hundreds of Canadians who have been left stranded and frustrated in India without their luggage days after their Air Canada flight flew out of Vancouver.

Johnny Birk told Global News that he and his family have been in New Delhi since early Friday morning after departing Vancouver just after midnight on Thursday. He estimates that roughly 300 passengers were on the same flight, but only 30 pieces of luggage arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport with them.

“Everyone was missing luggage,” he said. “It was literally like a riot in the airport.”

....."Birk said that since they arrived in India, two other flights have also flown into New Delhi from Vancouver — both without their luggage."

“They said one bag was in London Heathrow Airport, two of them they don’t know where they are and the others are still in Vancouver,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. Why can’t they get our bags here?”

In a statement to Global News, Air Canada blamed the issue on the renewed tensions between India and Pakistan, which has led to air travel restrictions.

“Due to the ongoing airspace closure over Pakistan, we fly a longer route, which requires more fuel, therefore restricting the weight the aircraft can safely carry,” the airline said.

“On occasion, this has resulted in some bags being delayed as we then co-ordinate the transport of bags over alternate routings. Our teams in India are reuniting bags with customers.”

Birk said that explanation has not been provided to them and that customers should have known about the issue ahead of time.

.......“What we don’t understand is why didn’t they tell us before we left Vancouver that your bags aren’t going to be there with you? Because no one would have come,” he said, adding that he’s been told by the airline that the luggage issue has been ongoing for over a week.

When asked what kind of compensation the airline is providing customers, a spokesperson for Air Canada said the company is dealing with customers on an individual basis."

***


Other comments in the article, including how pax were dealt with in India and some compensation.

My questions: If AC had told customers on these routes that due to airspace closure and possible weight restrictions due to added flight time, AC could not guarantee their luggage would fly with them, would that not have been a better opportunity for AC to get ahead of this? Does it matter is some pax would have cancelled?

As for suggesting pax have travel insurance and go buy clothes etc, Mr Birk offers his own answer in the article.
They have handled the whole airspace thing badly. For example each flight shows as on time usually until airborne with the sole exception of 43 returning via CPH where marked as leaving on time but arriving 4hrs late - 2-3 days before. Despite NOTAM saying still closed and each flight being 2hrs longer. I spent literally days trying to change flights as would misconnect only to be told was voluntary change and thus v costly. Until the day of when “no space and should have called earlier”. And I have status. The idea seems to be to get people there and sort out later. Weird strategy.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by maniac78 View Post
They do this routinely on the YYJ/YVR run so why is this a big deal? It's routine to see tourists arrive at YYJ and be told their car seat/stroller/baby supplies were left in YVR and won't be over for a few hours.
We’re not talking about just a few car seats and trollers on Canadian domestic routes, but luggage with essential clothing and toiletries for travelers who just arrived in a foreign country after a 14 hour flight. That is the big deal!
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by jsfrSE View Post


We’re not talking about just a few car seats and trollers on Canadian domestic routes, but luggage with essential clothing and toiletries for travelers who just arrived in a foreign country after a 14 hour flight. That is the big deal!
I suspect that parents consider their few car seats and strollers to be big deals.

Hypothetically, if AC told passengers that bags were bing offloaded and some refused to fly, would AC be obligated to give refunds or rebook them for free?
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:40 am
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I am sure Air Canada will properly compensate their passengers for their inconvenience and those who are smart enough to understand the system have filed claims with Air Canada and/or their credit card companies.

I must be one of the few passengers that hopes their bag is lost or delayed to enable the opportunity to upgrade my wardrobe and luggage.

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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:57 am
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Although generous hand luggage allowances should take care of most people for the first 4-5 days, there remain a few who can't seem to help themselves, given that baggage issues occur to all carriers on all routes. But:

1. The Montreal Convention and travel insurance provide coverage here. The former permits passengers to replace necessary items and be reimbursed by the carrier.
2. Travel insurance should provide a fixed amount which may be easier for many.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:10 am
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Just what do all of the armchair dispatchers on this thread expect an airline to do?

Telling people, "your bags might not travel with you," sounds proactive, but it just throws the problem under another bus. If the passenger offloads themself, then the bags cannot be sent until the passenger goes (*that's* what positive bag matching means). And the same message is going to be provided at every departure down the line until the weight restrictions on these flights are lifted. If the passenger chooses to travel, that's not going mitigate the service problem at the other end, there's still a passenger without bags at the other end and, "we told you this might happen," isn't going to make any of that go away.

Which is the more expensive proposition for the airline: delayed baggage compensation, denied boarding compensation or empty seats? A dispatcher doesn't even need to sharpen a pencil to know that you move the people, and you deal with the baggage later. No other solution makes commercial sense.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by AC*SE View Post
Just what do all of the armchair dispatchers on this thread expect an airline to do?
Make an effort.

Given the Star Alliance and the JV with LH...why not place the bags on the next LH YVR-FRA-DEL routing? Or...dozens of other alternative routings.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
“On occasion, this has resulted in some bags being delayed as we then co-ordinate the transport of bags over alternate routings. Our teams in India are reuniting bags with customers.”
PR fluff.

"Our teams in India". Right. Would that be the call center staff who simply use the internet to get the same information as passengers?
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:35 am
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This is not a real news story and who cares. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past. Just go to a store and buy a few clothes. Keep the receipts, claim them back and move on. Still better than AC cancelling the flight. BTW, if you can’t afford to float a couple of hundred $ for a bit, you shouldn’t be travelling half way around the world. This is just one of many simple problems/curve balls in life. First world problem, with some people think third world.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by 5mm View Post
This is not a real news story and who cares. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past. Just go to a store and buy a few clothes. Keep the receipts, claim them back and move on. Still better than AC cancelling the flight. BTW, if you can’t afford to float a couple of hundred $ for a bit, you shouldn’t be travelling half way around the world. This is just one of many simple problems/curve balls in life. First world problem, with some people think third world.

Apparently you missed or disregarded Mr. Birk's comment.

“We’re not in Miami or L.A. or somewhere where we can just go out and survive,” he said. “I can’t even go shopping anywhere because [Air Canada] said they’d compensate us if we provide them receipts, but no one here even writes receipts. We don’t know what to do.”

Perhaps you think all others who fly have your knowledge or skills or money or whatever it is. You have a great opportunity here to:

1. Call Global and teach the reporters how to travel when your luggage doesn't show up
2. Offer courses to those who could learn from your experience on how to manage when your luggage is missing. For 3 days. In India. With no sign of when AC expects to deliver it .


And no one expected AC to cancel the flight. But if a family is flying with clothes and gifts to attend a wedding, and AC has an issue not of their own making, how hard is it to let customers know IN ADVANCE that due to this situation, their bags may not arrive. At that point, those customers could be offered rebooking at no charge, or if the wedding is more important than luggage, make the decision to travel without luggage and use a shipping company to send essentials, or advise family or co-workers in India that they will need clothes and so on on arrival, or at the very least have an option.

At THAT POINT, the customer has info to make a better decision.

And don't disparage others less skilled than you at flying and managing without luggage.

The entire flying public does not always have the ability to think about ignoring missing luggage etc and just getting receipts.
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