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A week later, frustration grows as Southwest passengers wait for luggage

Denver7 asked Southwest Monday whether it has plans to re-evaluate that policy, following growing demands to do so, and why there's been a lot of mixed messages.
DIA luggage
Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 02, 2023

DENVER — A week after Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights, many passengers are still trying to get their luggage.

Last Monday, Denver resident Beth Tupta booked a last-minute flight on United Airlines out of Denver International Airport after Southwest canceled her flight to Milwaukee.

"They loaded a plane that was never gonna take off with all of our luggage, and everyone from that flight, I can tell you, has not seen their luggage since," Tupta said.

Customer service agents in Milwaukee and over the phone told Tupta she'd be able to pick up her bag at DIA upon her return to Denver.

"When I checked into customer service at DIA on Saturday, when I had returned back to Denver, they told me it was sitting in the hangar, and there was nothing I could do about it," Tupta said.

Instead, she was told her bag would have to first fly to Milwaukee before it's returned to her. She reached out again to customer service over the phone who agreed the process sounds ridiculous.

"The person I spoke to actually chuckled and said, 'That doesn't make sense. You need to talk to a supervisor.' And I said, 'Well, I can't,'" Tupta said.

Now, a week later, Tupta doesn't know when she'll get her bag and is frustrated with the inconsistencies between the phone and in-person agents and the airline.

Last week, a spokesperson with Southwest told Denver7 its policy to fly out a bag to its final destination without its owner is a standard procedure when there's been a disruption.

Denver7 asked Southwest Monday whether it has plans to re-evaluate that policy, following growing demands to do so, and why there's been a lot of mixed messages.

Fallout from Southwest Airlines cancellations

A spokesperson didn't respond to those questions and instead sent an empty statement about how the company is working around the clock to reunite customers with their luggage.

Tupta, like many others, wants something to change.

"If you can't get a bag to the destination, then, you know, reevaluate how you're getting that luggage, those belongings, to individuals," she said. "It's very inefficient. It's gonna be more costly on their end. People are very frustrated. We've had a stressful holiday travel situation, and we just want our stuff back."