A marriage get together had their suitcases ransacked. They need Sunwing to take accountability

Lisa and Dave Parsons have been in Jamaica for his or her son’s vacation spot marriage ceremony, a week-long dream trip that was image good — till they unpacked their baggage.

Travelling with 40 marriage ceremony visitors from Ocho Rios, Jamaica to Lindsay, Ont., on Monday, the couple says that just about half the group had costly devices, fragrances and clothes stolen from their suitcases, and that the liner of their baggage was left in tatters.

“We usually would go away our valuables at dwelling, but it surely was a marriage, so we have been dressing up,” Lisa advised CBC Information in an interview.

The whole journey was booked by means of Sunwing Airways, a reduction service headquartered in Toronto and owned by WestJet. Now, the couple — and their visitors — need the airline to take accountability.

“It was not in regards to the cash,” Lisa stated. “It is extra about the truth that now there’s this darkish cloud after we all have been on a excessive be aware.”

WATCH | How these Sunwing passengers tracked down stolen valuables: 

Sunwing passengers say valuables have been stolen from checked baggage

A gaggle of Sunwing passengers allege 1000’s of {dollars} price of electronics, watches and perfumes have been stolen from their checked baggage in Jamaica and so they need the airline to take accountability.

On the ultimate day of their journey, the group gathered within the foyer of the Lodge Riu Ocho Rios, loaded their baggage onto a bus and drove two hours to Sangster Worldwide Airport in Montego Bay. As soon as they arrived, they stood with their baggage within the Sunwing line for some time earlier than they checked it, nonetheless with three and a half hours till takeoff. 

They went by means of safety, boarded their flight and flew again to Toronto, the place they have been bused to the principle terminal with out incident. They grabbed their baggage on the carousel and arrived dwelling at about 11 p.m.

However a few of the travellers had a nasty shock ready for them the following morning: A textual content from a member of the group who discovered a number of watches lacking from his bag as he unpacked.

The remainder of the group rapidly took stock. 

“We now have an enormous group chat that we had going whereas we have been on the journey,” stated Bryan Williams, a detailed buddy of the groom who had a $200 cologne bottle, some gown shirts and pants stolen. “And everyone was like, yeah, I am lacking this, lacking that. We realized that there was greater than only one or two of us have been lacking some issues.”

The Parsons have been lacking a $550 Belova watch, two units of $300 airpods, and one wire for a Mac laptop computer valued at $120. Others have been lacking costly fragrance, cologne and clothes, and about half of the group had their baggage tampered with — the liner shredded and the locks lower.

Whose accountability is it?

The Parsons have been in a position to verify that the theft hadn’t occurred at Toronto Pearson Airport after utilizing their telephones to trace the placement of their stolen airbuds. 

A screenshot of the iPhone map shows a tracked pair of airpods with a time and location stamp.
A screenshot reveals Lisa Parson’s airpods tracked to a avenue in Montego Bay, Jamaica, nearly 3,000 kilometres away from her dwelling. (Submitted by Lisa Parsons)

“We have been all brainstorming on what had gone on and realized that we have been all compromised on the [Montego Bay] airport, as a result of that is the one time our baggage was unattended,” stated Lisa.

Whereas Dave’s airpods have been discovered on one other a part of the island, “mine are on Windfall Road in Montego Bay,” Lisa defined. “It reveals you precisely the place it’s, and it is 2,861 miles away. In order that they’re in Jamaica.”

A spokesperson for the Montego Bay Airport Authority advised CBC Information that the airline is accountable for stolen baggage objects or lacking baggage, and that theft doesn’t happen steadily on the airport. The assertion additionally famous that the bags handlers at Sangster Worldwide Airport are employed by particular person airways.

“Sunwing is who we paid our cash to, so I really feel they’re those that have to step as much as the plate,” stated Lisa. The group filed a grievance with the airline, however did not hear again for a number of days.

CBC Information reached out to a consultant for Sunwing, who confirmed their receipt of the inquiry however didn’t present a response. 

One of many travellers later acquired a name from the Sunwing Company workplace. A consultant stated that the Montego Bay police had launched an investigation into the thefts. CBC Information reached out to native legislation enforcement in Jamaica and didn’t obtain a response.

Luggage ‘on the mercy’ of whoever needs to entry them

A man and a woman sit at a table in their home.
Dave and Lisa Parsons and different members of the marriage get together need the airline to take accountability for his or her stolen valuables. (CBC)

Dave Parsons stated the group is ready to see to what extent they will be compensated by Sunwing earlier than submitting a declare with their insurance coverage firm. The couple is sharing their expertise as a warning to different travellers.

“Just remember to maintain your valuables near you,” he stated. “And your baggage, your major baggage are on the mercy of whoever needs to, I suppose, entry them.”

Kristine D’Arbelles, senior director of public affairs with CAA Nationwide, stated the principles are fairly clear about who’s accountable for stolen baggage or valuables.

“When you hand that bag over to the airline, it’s within the airline’s care, so it wants to come back again to you in a single piece with all the things in it,” she advised CBC Information. “So if it does come again broken with objects misplaced or stolen, [then] you make a declare with the airline.”

Travellers are pictured at Pearson International Airport, in Toronto, on Dec. 22, 2022 — one of the busiest travel days of the holiday season.
Travellers are pictured at Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport. ‘When you hand that bag over to the airline, it’s within the airline’s care, so it wants to come back again to you in a single piece with all the things in it,’ Kristine D’Arbelles, senior director of public affairs with CAA Nationwide, advised CBC Information. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

She stated that travellers who’ve had objects stolen are protected by the Air Passenger Safety Rules (APPR) in two methods. 

These passengers can declare as much as $2,300 in compensation for delayed or broken baggage, or they’ll declare objects that have been stolen from their baggage. Travellers must make a declare straight by means of the airline. 

“This isn’t the primary time that somebody is reporting on a misplaced or stolen or broken bag,” D’Arbelles stated. However there’s little public accessible knowledge to point how typically it occurs, she added.

Solely the Canadian Transportation Company retains observe of complaints it receives, however lots of these claims are a final resort. They’re sometimes filed after travellers have exhausted earlier choices and weren’t proud of the outcome.

LISTEN | Can baggage-tracking options give passengers peace of thoughts? 

Columnists from CBC Radio3:48Airways are stepping into the bag monitoring recreation

There’s a motive so many individuals now attempt to deliver all the things in a carry-on once they fly. There are charges for checked baggage, but additionally considerations {that a} bag would possibly get misplaced. Airways are actually attempting to provide individuals extra peace of thoughts on that entrance. CBC’s Jason Osler explores whether or not new baggage monitoring options will assist.

Whereas travellers ought to keep away from checking something of worth, that may’t at all times be prevented, D’Arbelles stated. In that case, you will be ready in different methods: make an inventory of things you are travelling with, take photographs of your valuables, and maintain all receipts — out of your baggage tag to your boarding move.

“We’re nonetheless within the early days of those rules. So not lots of people know that it is there,” she stated of the APPR. 

“And clearly, when this stuff occur, stress is excessive. You are frightened. Generally we do not cease to assume, ‘is there really one thing that’s defending me?'”

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