Subject: 'lost' baggage
My Name: William
My City: Kenora
My State/Territory: Ontario
My Complaint Against: westjet
Complaint Category: Service Providers
Claim Amount (Approx.): 150.00
My Complaint Description:
On Nov/29/19 I left Puerto Vallarta airport. My flight was scheduled to depart at 1:00pm and I was first in line to drop my bag off when the counter opened at 10:00a.m. I was given a baggage claim sticker which indicated that my bag was checked through to Winnipeg, although I had a brief stopover in Edmonton.
Upon arriving in Edmonton, I proceeded through Customs and Immigration using my Nexus card. I was instructed (by a Customs official) to proceed to the baggage claim carousel and claim my bag – and that this process was part of my clearing Customs and that I would then re-drop / check my bag for my flight to Winnipeg.
I waited while all others claimed their luggage and departed, but my bag did not come down the chute. During this time a Customs person conversed with us and told us that it is standard practise to pickup and recheck baggage at the airport in which one arrives back in Canada. After a lengthy wait and still not getting my bag – I was instructed by a Customs person to go to the Westjet counter and present them with my situation.
Still in the baggage claim area, I went to the nearby Westjet counter and explained my dilemma to the representative. She agreed that the bag had obviously been rerouted or misplaced somehow and she initiated some paperwork. She obtained my name, address, contact information (email and home phone no) and my travel information. She explained that when my bag was located that Canada Customs would have to clear it and then Westjet would return it to me at their expense. I was careful to get this clarified, as I have had lost luggage before. She explained that they would make sure it was delivered to my home. She also said that I would be getting an email shortly from Westjet which would establish a line of communication for us so I would allow me to know the progress of the search and when and how to expect the bag’s return. She explained, just before I departed the counter, that she was on her way to ‘get it in the system’.
I then checked in and proceeded to fly to Winnipeg. I did check at the departure gate with the staff several times before departing Edmonton to see if there were any messages for me. I still was hoping that the bag may have shown up.
Upon arriving in Winnipeg I did look at the baggage carousel and did not see my bag there at that time. Obviously I would have been surprised but happy to see it at that time. I did not stay around and ‘wait for it to arrive’ as I was definitely of the impression, after my Edmonton experience, that the bag was presently lost and I would not see it until it arrived back in Kenora in the future. I booked a hotel and spent the night in Winnipeg and then returned by bus to my home in Kenora.
On November 30th I arrived home in the morning and later that afternoon received a phone call from Westjet. The woman I spoke to asked me if I had ‘left anything on my flight from Edmonton to Winnipeg the previous day.’ I replied that I did not believe I had left anything behind, but that I was waiting to hear about a piece of lost luggage. There was a pause and then she replied that they (Westjet) had a bag in Winnipeg which they believed was mine and which was not claimed at the baggage carousel after the flight. Naturally I was surprised to hear that the bag was there as I was assured that it was lost. The Westjet person told me that it had arrived on the same flight as me and it had been my responsibility to claim it. I attempted to explain to her about the process I had gone through in Edmonton and that I had been assured that the bag was lost somehow and that I certainly did not expect to see it in Winnipeg.
At this point the conversation took on a different tone as the Westjet person kept repeating that the bag had not been lost and it was my responsibility to claim it. I tried to explain about the procedure of clearing customs in Edmonton that had been explained to me when I was there and she said that was not the practise and that my bag had not been available there. She then carried on with the repetition about the situation being my fault and that Westjet took no responsibility. I tried to explain that I had been assured that the bag would be returned to my home when it was located – this resulted in more repetition from her – as well as a statement that the loss of the bag had to be decided by Westjet in Winnipeg NOT by Westjet in Edmonton. Since I had not consulted Westjet in Winnipeg, she explained that I was at fault. I explained that I had assumed that the Westjet representative in Edmonton had seemed to know what she was doing and I had taken her on her word. This, of course, resulted in more repetition on her part.
At this point I requested to speak to her supervisor. Another person then took the phone and proceeded to repeat the same things to me about the whole situation being my fault, that I was responsible for retrieving the bag, that what I had been told by staff in Edmonton was not correct and that I had to make arrangements for getting my bag. She said they would not return it to me as it ‘had not been lost’. I did not accept this decision as I had been assured previously that it was ‘lost and would be returned to me’.