The story will be familiar to thousands of passengers who tried to fly to, from and around Canada over the Christmas holidays: They finally made it to their destination, only to find their luggage didn’t make it.
A graveyard of lost suitcases, duffel bags and car seats has grown behind a makeshift wall at Vancouver International Airport after weather and staffing problems caused hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled at the peak of the holiday travel season.
Losing your luggage can be stressful and expensive.
This is what you should do if it happens to you.
My luggage disappeared. What should I do?
First, file a lost or delayed baggage report with your airline in writing as soon as you can. Include as much documentation as possible: a photo and description of your bag, your luggage tag, and your flight information.
Claims must be filed within 21 days for delayed baggage and within seven days for damaged baggage. Baggage is considered lost if it has been delayed for 21 days or if the airline admits the loss of the baggage sooner.
Airlines may be responsible for lost or damaged baggage up to approximately $2,300, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).
CLOCK | Thousands of travelers are still waiting for the return of their lost luggage:
I had to buy new things since I didn’t have my bag. Can I be compensated?
Airlines may compensate passengers for basic items they may need to purchase during their trip. For example, a traveler may need a new bathing suit for their beach destination, or parents may need to rent a stroller for their children.
Spend carefully though – the airline will be able to decide what constitutes a “reasonable” purchase. Spending $250 to replace a $35 bathing suit might not do.
That obligation to compensate passengers also includes any expenses incurred in retrieving those bags, such as a taxi ride to the airport, gas or parking costs, he said.
Include all out-of-pocket expenses on your claim. Save your receipts.
Who is responsible for my luggage?
The responsibility lies with your airline, not the airport.
Your airline should deliver your bags to you once they are located.
Can I go to the airport to get my bags myself?
Vancouver International Airport has set up temporary walls to securely store around 2,500 unclaimed bags.
Travelers with missing bags must first file a lost baggage claim with their airline, but they can also show up at the airport with their bag tags and plane ticket to be escorted to the secured areas to retrieve their bags.
Where can I find staff at YVR to help?
The airport said passengers can talk to YVR’s “baggage customer service team” for help. The equipment is parked at the information desk in domestic arrivals on Level 2 or international arrivals on Level 1.
“These team members continue to assist YVR partner airlines in answering questions and assisting passengers in locating their bags,” an airport statement read.
What happens if the airline does not respond to my claim?
If the airline rejects or ignores a claim, you can try to enforce your rights through legal action.
In Canada, legal action can be taken in the airline’s origin province, the province where the ticket was purchased, or in the flight’s destination province. The required forms and court procedures may vary from province to province.
There is a two year time limit for any court action to claim damages.
Passengers can also file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency, but be prepared to wait: the agency is dealing with an 18-month backlog.
#luggage #lost #chaos #Vancouver #International #Airport #CBC #News