Southwest meltdown: How your luggage can fly, however you possibly can’t

AUSTIN (KXAN) – It isn’t simply people who find themselves caught due to Southwest’s flight cancellations — their baggage is just too.

It is a scenario that many have discovered themselves in: How can my bag attain my vacation spot after I could not take off?

Carson Pearce, an aviation skilled, says the usual working process for airways is one thing referred to as “constructive passenger bag matching,” or PPBM.

“In idea, no bag ought to depart the airport with out the passenger being on the aircraft, in idea,” stated Pearce, who heads the aviation science division at Texas A&M College – Central Texas.

Pearce stated airways observe PPBM for security causes.

“That is as a result of they do not need somebody to return in, guide a flight… at worst, put a bag on, then they depart and go some other place, and the bag goes, explosion,” he defined.

However he stated when you’ve got 1000’s of canceled flights and corresponding baggage, workers cannot match your bag to you.

“While you’re in a large meltdown, like what the Southwest is experiencing, what you’ve got is 1000’s of baggage,” Pearce stated. “Instantly a flight comes up out there, they see that label there; let’s simply say it is Austin, throw it on and get it out of right here as a result of there is not any extra room on the finish. We have now no different place to place it.”

Southwest Airways confirmed to KXAN that tagged luggage are being forwarded. As soon as they arrive, if a passenger would not declare them, the corporate begins attempting to reunite the bag with the shopper.

you possibly can submit a Southwest baggage declare ticket by way of this website.

Southwest additionally stated it is tough to take away a checked bag from the aircraft as soon as it is loaded, saying “the aircraft has to maneuver ultimately, even when prospects aren’t on it.”

“It is rather inconvenient to take away loaded baggage from the aircraft after it’s loaded. The aircraft nonetheless has to maneuver ultimately, even when Prospects aren’t on it. The aircraft is anticipated to be some other place and people luggage are anticipated to be in that location as properly. It’s a very advanced course of that’s a part of how our Community works in live performance,” the airline stated in an announcement.

In a later e-mail explaining their assertion, the airline defined:

“Throughout irregular operations, corresponding to a winter storm and flights being cancelled, we do our greatest to reunite Prospects with their luggage. Nevertheless, as soon as flights begin shifting, we additionally give attention to our Prospects and their luggage. In conditions like these by which we finds us as we speak, luggage are labeled for a sure vacation spot and people are forwarded onward. As soon as it arrives at that vacation spot metropolis and the Buyer doesn’t declare it, we start the method of reuniting the bag and the Buyer.”

Pearce stated that whereas all airways observe the PPBM technique, how an airline offers with overloading can differ.

“Southwest says, ‘If we’ve got a aircraft that is delayed and the baggage are on it…we depart the baggage on it. Now, the procedures of most airways that I do know of…they take away the bag from the aircraft. If that individual will not be on it, they take away it,” Pearce stated.

Joshua Mobley bumped into the issue in Denver.

After being canceled and rebooked a lot of instances, he stated a Southwest agent assured him his subsequent flight wouldn’t be canceled.

“I am like, ‘Okay, cool. Examine my bag… Worst mistake of my life,” Mobley stated.

That flight ended up being canceled, however Mobley could not get his bag again.

“When you verify in for a flight along with your bag and it is canceled, there needs to be a solution to retrieve your bag,” he stated.

Mobley ended up discovering the second-to-last seat on a United Airways flight to Austin and determined to pay the $500 for a ticket.

Now, he is in Austin, however his Southwest bag is not.

Mobley has a GPS tracker in it. He pulled up the app on his cellphone and confirmed KXAN the way in which to the suitcase.

On Wednesday, his program topped off his suitcase in Seymour, Texas.

He stated Southwest employees knowledgeable him his bag did not make the flight in any respect – it was on a UPS truck sure for Austin.

“I realized my lesson. I’ll all the time hold traces in my luggage. Particularly with Southwest,” Mobley stated. “Individuals are being screwed over. I really feel sorry for individuals, particularly individuals with kids and the aged.”

Mobley stated he’ll return to the Austin airport a 3rd time Thursday, hoping his bag with all his work gear can be among the many dozens amongst crowded carousels.

“Hopefully they’ve realized from this and so they haven’t got something near this type of factor,” he stated. “I’ve by no means seen this in my life. All the time.”


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