DENVER — From the look of the area between Baggage Claims one and two at Denver International Airport, many bags flew for free on Southwest Airlines this holiday.
The problem is those checked bags are still waiting to be connected to the travelers who are missing them.
"Southwest victim if you will, kind of a harsh term," Denver resident Kip Portz said.
Portz and his family tried to fly to Reno on Dec. 27, so they could be in Lake Tahoe specifically today, Monday.
"January 2, which would have been my late-father-in-law's 80th birthday, which was the day that my wife and her two brothers were going to sprinkle his ashes legally or otherwise at the ski mountain that they grew up and he taught them how to ski at," Portz said.
Instead, the flight was canceled, though he said the eight bags they checked as a family went to Reno at some point.
"I've probably spent eight hours on hold, trying to get refunds for the flights and trying to figure out where my actual bags are," Portz said.
He said the only contact that he has received from Southwest was about a bag that was not his.
"Got a call Thursday, again [our] flight [was supposed to be] Tuesday evening, that they had located our snowboard. While we were excited to actually have a call from somebody, we don't snowboard. That's kind of an issue, so not our snowboard," Portz said.
His wife has an account with FedEx, which notified her that they are about to receive a delivery of seven packages. He believes it to be seven of the eight bags. But it is that eighth bag that has him concerned.
"I'm hoping that the bag that is missing, the bag in question, is not the one that contains his ashes," Portz said. "Everything can be replaced other than the most important thing."
Cookie Clark was back at DIA on Monday looking for two of her missing bags from a canceled Christmas trip to Houston.
"We were convinced that this luggage never left Denver," Clark said. "We came back on our own."
She filled out a paper form to get her bags, but still has not received any communication from Southwest Airlines.
On Monday, she waited to see if Southwest could find her second bag while a line stretched behind her for the baggage service office.
"After our flight was delayed five times on Christmas night, we stood in this line for about three hours," Clark said. "Don't get me wrong, I love Southwest Airlines, and I probably would fly again because hopefully they'll never let anything like this happen again."
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