Big White skiers left without equipment after airline lost luggage – Okanagan

The hike was not easy for people wanting to ski in the Okanagan. Not only have they been affected by flight cancellations, but the equipment they need to hit the slopes isn’t getting here either.

The Donnelly family traveled to Kelowna, British Columbia, on a WestJet flight from Indiana a few days ago for a short vacation at Big White Ski Resort. However, not all of their luggage made the journey with them.

“Unfortunately these bags were our ski bags and we were expecting them a day later, you may know, but they haven’t arrived yet. Literally when we got here we were in tennis shoes,” Maria Donnelly said.

Not only did their ski gear not survive, but the family was also left without their winter clothes. Since then, they have been desperately trying to recover their belongings.

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« The frustrating thing is that there is no communication with WestJet, the website is not updated, » Donnelly said.

« It doesn’t show where our bags are and when we might get them and it’s impossible to reach them on the phone. »

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Travel issues continue at Kelowna International Airport

In a statement to Global News, WestJet says it is trying its best to reunite passengers with their luggage.

« Our baggage teams across our network have a lot of baggage to sort through after the large backlog of cancellations experienced over the holidays, » the statement said.

« But they are working around the clock to get them moving and getting them to our customers as quickly as possible. »

The issue is not uncommon and Big White also tries to accommodate those who don’t have their gear.

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“We have dealt with delayed baggage and lost baggage of this magnitude before. What you see on the news all over North America affects us like all ski resorts in North America,” said Big White Ski Resort Senior Vice President Michael Ballingall.

“We have a shuttle service that goes in and out of this airport 27 times a day, so we get a lot of bags delivered or we pick up a lot of bags. We act as a central commissioner for the whole station.

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‘Unpredictable and unseasonable’ weather fluctuations challenge Big White staff

The Donnelly family was finally able to enjoy the hill, after a dozen people offered to lend them ski equipment and winter clothing.

« The resort is beautiful, the slopes are beautiful and we were lucky enough to ski for two days, » Donnelly said.

In the meantime, the family say their flight home has also been canceled and they hope this will give their luggage time to catch up, if only for the trip home.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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