An Air Canada passenger is worried about the airline’s safety protocols after he said hundreds of bags were left unmonitored in an open space at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport.
Lachine resident Kyle Rougeau said he first noticed piles of uncollected luggage Saturday morning when he arrived in Montreal from Toronto, where his flight had been delayed due to thunderstorms. After waiting for an hour at baggage claim, Rougeau was told by an Air Canada lost and found agent that his bags had likely been left in Toronto due to the storm and that they should arrive later in the day and would be delivered to his home.
Throughout the day, Rougeau said he kept checking Air Canada’s website with a tracking number provided by the company but his bags still had not been located. When he called customer service later that afternoon, he said the agent was unable to tell him where the bags were between Saskatoon, where he began his trip, and Montreal.
He returned to the airport in an attempt to obtain more information and once again noticed the piles of luggage around domestic baggage claim. When he asked an Air Canada agent if he could search for his bags, he said he was jokingly told, “Sure, have fun!” Air Canada Lost Property
After finding his luggage among the bags, Rougeau told another agent and said they replied, “Oh really? I’m glad you found your bag.”
“It’s pretty much a free for all,” Rougeau said. “A coat check at a restaurant does a way better job with your jacket than Air Canada does to protect your suitcase.”
He said his biggest concern was that if he could search the pile of bags without being questioned by staff, that anyone could walk into the airport and take or tamper with the bags without being stopped.
“I don’t know how long I would have had to wait, with my bag sitting here in Montreal, for them to actually go through (the lost baggage).”
A statement from Air Canada blamed the baggage pileup on the bad weather in Toronto, which caused flights to be delayed, rerouted or cancelled.
“In these situations, we move customers but bags, which can move more slowly, sometimes misconnect,” the statement says.
Air Canada also says that the uncollected bags were moved to a “stanchioned-off and monitored” area in the Montreal airport, but Rougeau disputes their claim, pointing out he had unfettered access to the supposedly monitored bags.
Kim Porter, who went to the airport to pick up a relative just after midnight Sunday, also insisted that the bags were left out in the open, unprotected. Those that were piled between carousels, she said, became safety hazards as passengers tried to navigate around them.
“It was outrageous,” she said. “There was luggage everywhere.”
The Aéroports de Montréal’s website says that airlines are solely responsible for transporting and delivering baggage.
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