May 21, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Without luggage or medicine, they will be in the chaos of our airports

Without luggage or medicine, they will be in the chaos of our airports

Without luggage or medication, a French couple’s first holiday in Quebec since arriving in Montreal last week turned into a nightmare.

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“According to the latest news, they sent our luggage back to France before picking it up in Montreal! […] Did you guess? We’re starting our holidays, it’s terrible,” said Augustine Le Van, 40, of Toulouse, after taking time to wipe away the tears of his wife, who suffers from degenerative heart disease.

“I have to take my medicine every day, Céline Lorien is continuously weak. But now it’s been four days since they’re in our suitcases and we can’t take them. Result: I’m not well. I’m very, very tired. I don’t know what to do anymore.”

A common problem

The latter arrived in Montreal by the hundreds – perhaps thousands – day after day, for several weeks without finding their luggage.

Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), the manager of Montreal-Trudeau airport, said it did not know the number of bags lost in recent weeks.

“ADM does not keep this type of data as it is the responsibility of the air carriers to deliver the baggage”, its spokesman replied without denying the problems.

Each story is unique even though the scenes are similar. After waiting for hours before departure at Montreal-Trudeau, passengers realized the obvious: their suitcases did not follow.

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where are they In which country or on which plane? when will they come Nobody knows!

“They’re kidding us”

Amidst the chaos, these unfortunates were eventually ushered out of a safe area, where, in the middle of a crowded hall, a row of three telephones, mounted on a wall without chairs or counters, awaited them a few meters away. The remaining area receives international traffic. Hence, hanging above the handsets, just for help, is a list of numbers customers are invited to dial to reach their airline.

Among the crowd of travelers who always gather around these phones, a young man returned from Dublin on Air Canada on June 23.

Ten days later, he is back at the airport again, with all other options available to him (calls, emails, paper forms) hoping to find not his suitcase, but his…bike!

“There are three phones, but only one Air Canada employee is on the line to answer everyone’s problems. It’s laughable how much they don’t care about us,” said the 30-year-old, waiting for the handset to become available.

UPS as backup

To return to our couple from Toulouse, they made three visits to the airport during their first four days in Quebec. Each time, they expect to find their luggage and their precious medicines.

Leaving France on the wings of Lufthansa last Friday, they stopped in Munich before landing in Montreal for the first time.

“I’d be a fool not to keep them to myself. I feel guilty. But what if there is only hope?

Yesterday, on the eighth day of their two-week trip, the couple still hadn’t received their suitcases. Will he find them? No one knows. They remain without news of their carrier.

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In the meantime, the woman called UPS to try to get her emergency medication. If all goes well, she will receive them today and finally realize a dream: to see Niagara Falls.

“Because, jokes her spouse, we didn’t come to Montreal to see the airport!”.

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