Air Canada customer battles airline after AirTag tracks missing bag stuck over 8,000 km away

After using Apple AirTags to track lost bags, Air Canada customers are angry and frustrated by the airline’s lack of effort to recover lost bags.

Paul Cliffer said, “I feel helpless as if there was nothing I could do.

After hearing numerous reports of airlines losing luggage, Kliffer and his wife invested in the Apple AirTag. This is a wireless tracking device that can be attached to multiple items, including checked baggage.

The technology was put to the test this November when a couple in Victoria, British Columbia returned home from Mexico City.

When they landed in Vancouver before leaving for Victoria, Cliffer’s wife checked her phone for AirTag. “We were told that our bag was 4,000 kilometers away from her, which we didn’t hear very well,” she says.

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The couple discovered their luggage was still placed at the Mexico City International Airport.

Cliffer said he contacted an Air Canada agent and started charging immediately. He said he was told by his agent that he would bring the bag back home immediately.

“My bag never arrived,” he said. “For his next three days, I returned to Victoria and was repeatedly told there was nothing I could do but send a note to Mexico City.”

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But two weeks later, Cliffer said the situation had worsened. He was shocked to learn that the location of the AirTag indicated that the package was currently at an international airport in Madrid, Spain.

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“How did this happen?” he said.

Cliffer continued to contact Air Canada with no results. “They will escalate the file to a more critical stage and contact me within 48 hours. That never happened,” Cliffer said.

Consumer Affairs reached out to Air Canada on Cliffer’s behalf. Air Canada expressed its regret by stating:

“We are fully aware of how inconvenient baggage delays can be and our goal is always to have the baggage travel and arrive with the passenger. In view of the time elapsed without successful collection of the customer, we have notified the customer that we are moving to compensation.The claim is currently being processed and will be followed up directly with the customer.

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Consumer Matters also provided Air Canada with a screenshot of Kliffer’s AirTag in Madrid, Spain, and asked the airline why it didn’t try to find Kliffer’s bag, but the company didn’t respond. .

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John Gradek, a McGill University lecturer and program coordinator for the Aviation Management Program, said in his opinion baggage handling is often not a priority for airlines.

“Minimizing detours for bags to their destination is not part of an airline’s service strategy,” he said.

Still, Gradek advised that AirTags could be a useful tool.

“AirTag for me is a way to hold airlines accountable,” he said. “Basically, you can get in the airline case and say ‘Move the bag,’ and give the airline a pretty strong tail shake.”

However, in Cliffer’s case, Air Canada has said it will move to compensation, and he now feels abandoned.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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