Edmonton

WestJet passenger finds beer, mystery clothes in bag after flight

An Edmonton woman went looking for answers after her suitcase showed up with a few extra items on a Thursday flight to Kelowna, B.C., from Edmonton.

Airline's tweeted joke about 'What happens in Vegas...' leaves Edmonton woman unimpressed

Nicole Ashley Squires found men's clothes and five cans of beer in her bag after a WestJet flight to Kelowna, B.C., from Edmonton. (Nicole Ashley Squires)

An Edmonton woman's luggage arrived a little heavier than when she packed it after a Thursday flight to Kelowna, B.C.,  from Edmonton.

Inside, she found some dirty men's clothing and five cans of Coors Light beer. The catch: She didn't put them there.

The airline's initial response in a tweet? "What happens in Vegas …"

"This is the most bizarre thing," Nicole Ashley Squires said Friday morning from Kelowna.

"I packed my bag — I even used a strap so it's all organized … and I put the bag myself on the conveyer belt."

Fifty minutes later, Squires said, she was the first person to pick up a bag from the conveyer belt, because she was in a hurry to make an appointment. She didn't realize there were extra items in her bag until she reached her hotel.

"When I opened it a beer fell out. I was like 'Oh no, I have someone else's luggage.' Then I started going through it and I'm picking up men's clothes," she said. "Not just a random shirt or jeans — a full outfit."

She found a stained white undershirt, hooded sweatshirt, jeans, a pair of beat up shoes and some slippers. None of it smelled that great, she added. "I'm not exaggerating. These clothes are soiled."

As she dug further into the luggage, Squires found her own clothes, still neatly packed with nothing missing. However, there were several more beer cans tucked away deeper in the bag.

What happens in Vegas...

Concerned about how the clothes and beer came to be there, and worrying about a possible safety risk, Squires said, she called WestJet right away. She didn't get the reaction she expected.

"They were like 'Oh gross, no way,'" she said. "They were so cavalier about it. They didn't really care."

Worrying that she might be overreacting, Squires posted a picture of the mystery clothes on Twitter, asking WestJet to explain.

When the airline tweeted back the joke about Vegas, the story exploded.

"When they responded that way, I didn't know whether to laugh or be mad," Squires said.  "Are they serious?"

However, WestJet posted a second tweet asking Squires to call,.

This time, she called WestJet's baggage claim line directly and spoke with an employee who told her that in 15 years with the airline she had never heard of anything like this. The employee was not able to explain how the clothes and beers could have ended up in Squires's bag.

That answer came later, in an email from WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer. 

Palmer said baggage crew spotted the mystery items sitting next to Squires's bag on the conveyer belt. Because her bag was slightly unzipped, they assumed the objects had spilled out, so they packed it all in there.

"As weird as it sounds, that's what happened. We are very sorry that our guest found items in her bag that did not belong to her, but they were put there by people with the best of intentions who were only trying to help. We appreciate her understanding."

As for Squires, she's not sure whether she should be holding on to the clothes and cans — but two things are certain. One: she has no plans to drink the beer.

And two?

"I'm not someone who ever locks my luggage," she said, "but I 100 per cent will from now on."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.