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Woman accuses airline of lying after tracking down lost luggage with AirTag

Her tweets documenting a five-day saga chasing her lost suitcase have racked up more than 6 million views.

WASHINGTON — A D.C. resident is accusing United Airlines of lying and gaslighting after she went to extraordinary extremes to track down some lost luggage during the holiday travel meltdown.

Valerie Szybala found her luggage Monday in the possession of a courier miles from her home and days after the luggage was lost during a trip.

Her tweets documenting the five-day saga chasing her lost suitcase racked up more than 6 million views.

Szybala claims an Apple tracking device known as an AirTag made a mockery of United's claims that her bag was either en route to her home or being held in a secure storage facility.

Szybala was reunited with her bag on her fourth trip to a NE Washington D.C. apartment complex on Rhode Island Avenue where the AirTag indicated the bag had been detected repeatedly. The complex is miles from her home.

She reported the bag missing to United on Dec. 28.

Monday, she found it in the possession of a courier near the apartment complex who told Szybala the suitcase had been mistakenly dispatched twice to incorrect addresses.

AirTag data showed the bag detected in Maryland and Virginia suburbs as well as in the apartment complex, a nearby Mcdonald's restaurant and shopping areas.

Szybala also tweeted photos after she found other luggage empty and abandoned behind the building, raising suspicions about possible theft. 

She contacted Metropolitan Police which provided WUSA9 with a copy of its report documenting the call.

Szybala said she is happy to have her suitcase back but remains critical of United Airlines.

“I'm really upset at United," she said outside the apartment building. "I still want answers as to why my bag has been in someone's car in this building for three days and has taken trips out to go shopping several times. I don't think they've told me the truth about what happened.”

"The worst part is being gaslit -- being told your bag is on its way when it's not."

United Airlines provided a statement to WUSA9 saying they are investigating what happened calling it a "service failure."

"We’ve been in touch with this customer to discuss this situation and confirm she has received her luggage. The service our baggage delivery vendor provided does not meet our standards and we are investigating what happened to lead to this service failure."

Szybala advises travelers to use AirTags as well as documenting their luggage with photos.

She said she will never again trust an airline to deliver a lost bag.

"That was my big mistake. I should have said I'm coming to the airport to pick it up. Don't let them give it to a third party," she said.

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