Lost luggage takes trip around the world while owner waits for it in Calgary

An American traveller is joining the growing chorus of Canadians complaining about the amount of

An American traveller is joining the growing chorus of Canadians complaining about the amount of lost luggage by airlines, especially after his went on journey across the world.

Garrett Wright flew to Calgary from Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 6 to visit his girlfriend, who lives here. He said he flew United Airlines and then Air Canada, which have a code-sharing agreement.

He expected to find his bag when he arrived at Calgary International Airport, but it was nowhere to be found. He then sought out Air Canada to find out where it was.

“They were going to deliver my bag the next day. That’s what they told me,” he said.

Wright said he was given a reference number, a phone number and a website to track his bag down. When he did, he said it was quite the surprise.

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“It had Milan, and then it also had Frankfurt in the location of my bag,” he added incredulously. “So that’s when I started to phone them and it was one of many calls to them.”

Global News asked if he had any idea how the bag ended up in Italy and Germany when that was clearly not the destination, but he said he did not know.

“No clue. Just my bag,” he said. “Not me, unfortunately.”

American visitor finally receives lost bag.

Tomasia DaSilva

Global News contacted Air Canada, which confirmed Wright’s bag did go to Europe.

“It appears the bag was sent to Europe by United (Airlines) in error,” an airline representative said.

“The bag tag subsequently became detached when it was being sent back to Canada. The bag was then manually found, handled and processed.”

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Wright finally received the bag 12 days after he arrived. He told Global News that was particularly challenging, considering he had not packed for “Alberta weather”.

“I’m from Los Angeles,” he pointed out. “I’m from a much warmer climate than this, so I packed accordingly. I packed a toque, some board shorts, some flip-flops and a couple of t-shirts.”

Wright said that forced him to go spend money on essentials instead of “fun” things during his trip. To add “injury to insult”, he said when the bag finally arrived it was damaged and some of his items were missing and wet.

Air Canada told Global News it has compensated Wright based on the receipts he’s submitted so far. It added it will finalize compensation once it receives the final documentation.

“I’ve never felt like a can kicked down the road like I have dealing with them,” he said about the airline. “Honestly, I just want them to make this right.”

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Many Canadian airlines have been called on recently to “make it right”.

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Global News recently reported on WestJet passenger Michelle Linklater. The Saskatchewan mom drove to Calgary at the end of January to look for her bags that went missing on a Christmas flight to Mexico.

Linklater said her bags have still not been located — more than 70 days later.

She said WestJet has since given her a $450 credit towards her next flight as well as a room upgrade. However, she added she doesn’t feel comfortable flying just yet, so she packed up her daughters — including one with special needs — and drove down to Disneyland for a vacation.

“This is so worth the 48-hour drive,” she told Global News. “It shouldn’t have to be this way, but I am not convinced WestJet had the problems fixed.”

Michelle Linklater with daughters in Disneyland.

Courtesy: Michelle Linklater

Wright said he has no choice but to go back home to the U.S., he just wished the trip hadn’t played out this way.

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At the very least, he said he wished he had been the bag.

“When I saw that on their tracer report I was like, ‘Why couldn’t they have done that with me?’” he said. “‘Just screw me up and keep the bag.’”

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