Saskatchewan woman embarks on long journey to Calgary to find lost luggage

Click to play video: 'After no response from airline, Sask. woman travels to Alta. to hunt down lost luggage'
After no response from airline, Sask. woman travels to Alta. to hunt down lost luggage
A Saskatchewan woman on a mission to find her missing bag has driven hours to Calgary to find it. Tomasia DaSilva reports on the journey she’s taken to get her lost luggage back. – Jan 30, 2023

A Saskatchewan woman has embarked on quite the journey — including driving more than six hours to another province — to find the suitcase she believes was lost by the airline.

Michelle Linklater left Saskatoon for Calgary in the early morning hours Monday after she said she couldn’t get ahold of anyone from WestJet, despite trying for more than a month.

“You can’t get through. You can’t email them,“ she said. “I’ve been missing my luggage for 40 days.”

After arriving at YYC Calgary International Airport just before noon with her daughter, Linklater started poking around, finally approaching WestJet staff for some help.

Saskatchewan woman drives hours to Calgary in search of lost luggage. Global Calgary

Read more: Canadians weighing risks of lost baggage, weather, illness before trips: ‘Lot of stress’

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Linklater’s problems started when she was scheduled to fly to Cancun from Saskatoon on Dec. 21 but was rerouted on a different flight. When she arrived in Calgary, she said she was told no bags were being unloaded off the plane due to staff shortages.

“There was luggage everywhere,” she told Global News. “There was luggage everywhere up the back. There was no security that I could see.”

She said WestJet told her the bags would arrive in Cancun shortly, but only one of two ended up making it. She added she went her whole vacation without any luggage, which contained Christmas presents, medicine and other important items.

Upon returning back to Calgary on Dec. 30, she once again looked for her bag, but it was nowhere to be found. She said there was also a problem with her bag’s identification tag, and that it had already been assigned to another flier, even though her claim was not settled.

Again, despite asking for help, she said her concerns were ignored.

“They’re (WestJet) saying all the customers have been reunited with their bags. I disagree,” she pointed out. “I’m a customer and I haven’t been reunited.”

Read more: Chaos continues at Western Canadian airports. What can stranded passengers do?

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Global News reached out to the Calgary-based airline which told us it experienced a large backlog of delays and cancellations as a result of severe weather in December. That backlog, it said, “significantly impacted our baggage handling throughout our operation.”

Officials added while the vast majority of delayed baggage has now been delivered to owners, there are a few unique instances where that is not the case.

The spokesperson acknowledged the system could use some improvement.

“We are currently undertaking a strategic review to improve our baggage services and are committed to working together with our third-party service partners to action changes across our operations to ensure we improve in this area.”

Read more: Flight delays, cancellations cripple Alberta’s two big airports

Monday night, Linklater updated Global News on the situation, telling us WestJet welcomed her at the company’s headquarters to talk about the issues with its baggage system.

She has also received numerous apologies, assurances and has been promised the full amount of compensation possible.

WestJet also told us it is “working diligently to locate Ms. Linklater’s missing bag.”

“It just takes driving 10.5 hours and asking media to bring light to this horrible situation,” Linklater pointed out.

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Linklater added her work isn’t done yet, she said she won’t pack it in until changes are implemented. As for her next trip, she says it will be carry on all the way.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) receives hundreds of baggage complaints a year against various airlines.

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