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B.C. man reunited with luggage nearly 1 year after it was lost during international flight

Nearly one year after his luggage was lost during a flight to Ireland, a Vancouver Island man has been reunited with his belongings. 

David Lennam, who has previously worked for CBC Victoria, began his journey to Dublin in May, with big plans for a three-week cycling tour. 

His original flight was cancelled and he was rerouted, assured his luggage would arrive in Ireland. 

But it didn’t.

“A younger version of me … would have gotten angry,” he told All Points West host Jason D’Souza. “Instead I was just like, yeah, it’s probably happening to everyone. I don’t care. It’s just all my stuff. I just kind of let it go mentally.”

Lennam wasn’t the only one — around the same time last year, thousands of people lost luggage as airlines dealt with staffing shortages, flight changes and a rapid increase in travel following the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Canadian Transport Agency officials told a parliamentary committee in November that the backlog of complaints related to delayed, cancelled flights or lost luggage was up to more than 30,000 — up from 18,000 the previous summer.

Lennam contacted WestJet, which he had flown with, and they sent him to Aer Lingus, who had last handled the bag. Lennam said he received financial compensation for his lost bag, and never thought much more about it.

Travellers can claim up to approximately $2,350 for luggage that is lost or delayed on an international flight. 

Last week, Lennam received an unexpected phone call from a service delivery manager in the Dublin airport baggage tracing department.

“She left me a voicemail and she said, ‘I found your luggage’ and that was it.”

On Wednesday, it was delivered to his home. 

A man and three other arms reach out to cheers with their pints of Guinness
David Lennam enjoys a pint of Guinness on his trip to Ireland in 2022, despite his luggage being lost. (Submitted by David Lennam)

In a statement to CBC, a WestJet spokesperson said they are happy to hear Lennam was reunited with his belongings. 

“We have identified our responsibility to improve our baggage systems and remain committed to improving upon these services by working with our third-party service partners,” the statement reads. 

The item Lennam is happiest to see? A set of glow-in-the-dark travel dominoes. 

“Do you know how hard it is to find lightweight travelling dominoes? It’s almost impossible,” he said.

“So this, this is the prize.”