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P.E.I. woman flies to New York to track down her lost luggage

A Flair Airlines plane is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Flair Airlines *MANDATORY CREDIT* A Flair Airlines plane is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Flair Airlines *MANDATORY CREDIT*

After a week without a satisfying answer from the airline that lost her bag, a P.E.I. woman took matters into her own hands, returned to the airport where it was lost, and found it herself.

Lacey Koughan is a frequent traveller, and she had never lost a bag while flying until last week.

Koughan was chaperoning 17 young models she coaches to New York fashion week. And when Koughan made it home to P.E.I., her bag was still stranded at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

“I didn’t really panic a lot though, because I figured, ‘okay, I’ll probably just get my bag tomorrow or something.’ I definitely didn’t think this was going to happen,” said Koughan, reached on her way back home during a layover at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

She spent a week trying to get an answer about the whereabouts of her bag from Flair Airlines, the low-cost carrier she used to fly. The luggage was marked with an AirTag, so Koughan knew exactly where it was, but that didn’t help in trying to get the airline to get the bag back to her.

“It didn’t matter if I showed them the location of my AirTag,” said Koughan. “It didn’t matter how much info I gave them, because I gave them more than enough. Literally a precise location of where my bag was, and they just said, ‘we’re looking for it.’”

With a week gone and no progress she could see, Koughan flew back to New York to the airport where her bag was and went looking for it herself.

“Once I got there I found my bag in like 30 seconds,” said Koughan. “It was crazy.”

She said she’s happy to have her luggage back.

Under Canadian air passenger protection laws. you are entitled to up to $2,350 for lost luggage if your airline cannot find it within 21 days. However, Koughan said the contents of her bag were worth around $8,000 and her trip to retrieve her bag cost around $5,000.

In an email to CTV News, Flair Airlines says it has systems in place for when a bag is lost.

“When a bag is reported missing, Flair teams work to locate the bag as quickly as possible and return it to customers. Our customer service teams first contact our airport ground handling team where the bag is reported missing to initiate a trace. They use a software system called WorldTracer, which is used by airlines worldwide to efficiently manage this process,” said a spokesperson with Flair Airlines.

“At some airports, like JFK International Airport in New York, there are thousands of passenger bags processed every day, and it can take time to confirm the location of a bag and for our teams to determine how to conveniently return it to passengers. We are waiting to hear back from Ms. Koughan to see how we can further rectify this situation for her," the spokesperson added.

Koughan later said she would be reimbursed for the original flight from JFK International Airport to Toronto, the full total of what she spend in Toronto for clothes and makeup, and the total for the flights and hotel to retrieve her bag. She said she was also given a voucher for future travel. Top Stories


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