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Southwest baggage woes continue days later at Denver International Airport

While many are ready to never fly Southwest again, others, like Patricia Barnes, are willing to cut the airline a break.
Posted: 10:17 PM, Dec 27, 2022
Updated: 2022-12-28 18:42:33-05

DENVER — Hundreds, if not thousands, of bags remained at Denver International Airport Tuesday evening, days after winter weather and technological problems disrupted Southwest Airlines' operation.

The sea of luggage appeared to grow as employees brought in multiple cartloads throughout the evening. A line nearby to file a lost luggage claim fluctuated, with some reporting an hours-long wait to speak with an agent.

"I'm here right now to get my luggage back that supposedly already flew in to Oregon," Lonnie Ramirez said.

He was smart and brought himself a chair to wait in the long line after learning his bags actually never left the airport.

"Now I'm waiting in this line till I able to get my stuff back," he said. After waiting two hours, he learned Southwest would ship his bag back to him through FedEx.

Lauren, from the Denver area, paid the airport a visit a second time to file a claim for her girlfriend's bag, which flew to Louisiana even though her flight was canceled.

"I spent three hours here yesterday and finally just gave up, and now we're here today and the line's much shorter, which is good. But still, it's been an awful experience," she said.


It's a story many passengers shared with Denver7. They checked their bags prior to boarding, and then the flight got canceled. For some, the bag made it to its destination without them. For others, the bag stayed at DIA, but Southwest employees tell them their bag must still continue on to its final destination before being brought back to Denver.

A spokesperson confirmed to Denver7 this is standard procedure.

"It'll go to Buffalo, be sorted, be sent back here, be sorted and then we can get it back, and it'd probably be about two weeks," Amanda, whose flight to Buffalo was canceled, said.

While many are ready to never fly Southwest again, others, like Patricia Barnes, are willing to cut the airline a break.

"I do give them the benefit of the doubt, you know, that they're working hard, but, you know, I'm hoping that I find my luggage, too," she said.

Several passengers told Denver7 there are 20,000-30,000 bags at DIA belonging to Southwest Airlines passengers, according to communication they've had with airline employees. An airline spokesperson would not confirm that figure but called the number "significant."