News Article - February 19, 2007

Luggage Mess Follows Storm at PHL  
  PHILADELPHIA INT'L AIRPORT - February 19, 2007 - USAirways says 750 flights were canceled because of last week's storm. As they started to get people to their destinations, the luggage did not always follow. "My flight got canceled to Florida. They said the baggage could not be pulled at the time, and they would deliver it that night (Feb. 14) or the next day," said Art McKee of Mayfair. "Here it is Monday, and I still do not have it yet." Last week's storm, which caused so much misery for JetBlue in New York, generated operational problems for USAirways, canceled flights and diverted flights left luggage scattered around the system. Hundreds of orphaned pieces are now sitting at Philadelphia International Airport.

   "My flight was on Thursday. We got on the plane, and then they told us that we could not go," said Joe McLean of Springfield. "I was here about ten hours or so. The bags never made it on the plane. They were on the carrier, and they would not bring them inside. I called and they said my bags were routed from Charlotte to Pittsburgh to here, and they were going to deliver them to my house. That has not happened." Last fall, USAirways spent millions to upgrade operations in Philadelphia. It now has a full compliment of baggage tag readers, a computerized system. But, frustrated travelers said they have been getting the runaround for days.

   "UPS can track a package across the country, and all the security measures we have for terrorism and everything to get your bags into safe hands, why don't they know where they are?" wondered Michael Simpson of Los Angeles. Earlier, a spokesperson for USAirways told Action News they hoped all of the bags marooned in Philadelphia would be delivered to their rightful owners by the end of the day. That did not happen, but USAirways is still optimistic that they will finish the job by tomorrow afternoon.

Source - 6ABC