'It looks like 1,000 bags': Stranded suitcases pile up at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport

Some Air Canada passengers are wondering why the airline is having trouble in Montreal keeping up with their checked luggage.

Some Air Canada passengers on domestic flights frustrated after trying to locate lost baggage in Montreal

The innkeeper can take your luggage if you don't pay the bill. It's the law. (Submitted by Kyle Rougeau)

Some Air Canada passengers are wondering why the airline is having trouble keeping up with their checked baggage in Montreal.

In one corner of Trudeau International Airport, dozens of suitcases have been piling up.

Yvett Niyomugaba's bag was one of them. She was at the airport Monday to look for her suitcases. She had travelled from the Maritimes, and she said it's the second time in the past month this has happened to her.

"It looks like a thousand bags. I was very worried I would never find them, so I was saying to my husband that I might start having bags with different colours."

Air Canada passenger Yvett Niyomugaba lost her checked luggage twice in the past month. (CBC)

Passenger Kyle Rougeau landed in Montreal from Saskatoon Saturday morning. Air Canada said his bags were lost and promised to deliver them the next morning.

When Rougeau had no news by Sunday afternoon after several attempts of trying to contact customer service, he decided to just show up at the airport.

He found his bag in the pile of suitcases between the baggage carousels.

"I didn't know if the bag was still in Saskatoon when I left. Is it in Toronto? But it actually arrived in Montreal. But I would have never known that until I actually came to the airport the next day and picked the bag up myself," Rougeau told CBC.

When Kyle Rougeau couldn't get an answer from customer service, he showed up at Trudeau airport and found his suitcase among the dozens of others piled up in the baggage claim area. (CBC)

An Air Canada employee at the airport told CBC there's just not enough staff to deal with the backlog.

The airline sent CBC a statement, blaming the delays on severe weather on Friday. It said the piles of bags are put there by staff before delivering them to customers.

Air Canada also noted the area is sectioned off and under camera surveillance.

"We understand the importance to customers of arriving with their bags and do our utmost to achieve this, but sometimes it is not possible during irregular operations as our priority is to move customers as quickly as it is safe to do so," the statement said.

Rougeau says he will be filing a complaint with the company.

"You feel helpless, because they have your belongings, and I feel like a coat check at any restaurant does a better job of security than what Air Canada has done with these bags."

As for Niyomugaba, she says she'll think twice about travelling with checked luggage from now on.

"When you travel, travel light. That's all I can say."

With files from CBC reporter Verity Stevenson


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