Lost luggage 'put a small damper' on Ontario family's Yukon vacation
From wildlife encounters to scenic road trips, the Yukon has much to offer to those who are curious enough to travel to the territory.
That's what Darren Krafczek, his wife, Fleur, and his 15-year-old son were hoping to experience on their 10-day vacation. Instead, when they arrived in Whitehorse to start their adventure, Krafczek's luggage did not.
"It was honestly a stress. There were things in my luggage for the type of vacation we are on," he said.
They're among thousands who are facing issues with air travel in Canada, including cancelled or delayed flights, and of course, lost baggage.
Part of the vacation included wildlife-observing, so they had packed specific gear, like hiking shoes, bathing suits and binoculars.
"That put a small damper on the things that we were planning on doing."
Leading up to our trip, Krafczek said they had heard of some airport woes, so his wife purchased AirTags, the tracking device developed by Apple designed to act as a key finder.
Krafczek was also warned about the lost luggage fiasco from his neighbour, "she is a flight attendant with Air Canada so she actually said 'oh, make sure you get some stuff on your carry on, just in case.'"
But even though the family packed a set of extra clothes in the carry-on, it wasn't enough to cover the items in the checked bag.
'I didn't want to spend my vacation on hold'
What started off as a simple case of lost baggage ended up as a week of miscommunication and frustration for the family.
Besides trying to reach customer service at the Whitehorse's airport kiosk, Krafczek also found it difficult to get in touch with the airline, WestJet, over the phone.
"There's been no conversation because they don't answer the phones," he said. "It upsets me that there's been no contact."
Krafczek said he filed a baggage report and spent over $150 rebuying a few items.
"We had to delay our road trip and drive at different hours than we wanted to because we had to stay back in Whitehorse to buy stuff," he said.
The Guelph, Ont., resident explained most of the first few days were spent waiting for stores to open, and waiting on the phone.
"I didn't want to spend my vacation on hold," he said.
Krafczek's bag eventually did arrive — seven days later. However, the airline did not notify him when it arrived – he saw it on the AirTag tracker app.
A spokesperson for the airline told CBC in an email they are working with a third-party service to address baggage delays.
"We are making every effort to connect impacted guests with their missing bags," read the email.
The email also stated WestJet is investing on additional oversight to "support the partners responsible for actioning and delivering baggage services."
Krafczek and his family are returning home Friday and they're hoping their luggage makes it home, too.