Passenger Learned Lost Bag Was in Amsterdam When Stranger Messaged Him

  • A passenger received a message from a stranger that they had found his bag in Amsterdam.
  • Sunil Saith had not known where his bag was after it failed to arrive on his flight to Newark.
  • He had changed from a Turkish Airlines flight to a United Airlines flight at Schiphol.

One passenger says he only found out his lost luggage was in Amsterdam when a stranger contacted him on social media and is still waiting for his bag despite notifying the airline.

Sunil Saith told Insider that on Aug. 27 he took business-class flights with Turkish Airlines from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Istanbul and then on to Amsterdam. He ended his trip on a United Airlines economy-class flight from Amsterdam to Newark Liberty Airport, New Jersey, arriving on August 28.

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Saith told Insiders his bag didn’t make it to Newark and he filed a complaint with United Airlines. He said that Turkish Airlines had marked his luggage with Newark as the final destination when he checked it in in Bishkek.

Saith wasn’t sure what happened to his bag. But then, on August 31, he got a Facebook message from a stranger saying they found his suitcase at Schiphol. The bag had a label with Saith’s name and address on it.

The stranger said they found the bag after flying to Schiphol. “It appears it hasn’t been cataloged yet and is waiting (probably indefinitely) for someone to pick it up,” they said in one of the Facebook messages, screenshots of which were viewed by Insider.

Saith said he then contacted United Airlines “immediately” by phone and through the online chat facility. He said he contacted Turkish Airlines both via email and Twitter direct message.

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Saith had traveled to Bishkek for a wedding. He said his suitcase contained clothing, including his tuxedo and a kurta, but no electronics except for a phone charger and an electric toothbrush.

He called the situation “very frustrating”. He said he used Schiphol’s Lost and Found website “every day” but couldn’t find his bag on the site.

“We aim to deliver bags to customers’ final destinations on time, and when we miss the destination, we work hard to connect customers to their bags as quickly as possible,” a United Airlines spokesman told Insider and added that customers can track their bags on the airline’s app. Turkish Airlines did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Airlines have always lost a small percentage of passengers’ luggage, but the problem has gotten much worse this summer, largely due to a combination of staff shortages and technical problems. In many cases it has happened when flights were changed at the last minute or on two-leg flights where luggage was not transferred to the second plane.

The chaos has resulted in mountains of lost luggage flooding airports. Some travelers use devices like Apple AirTags to track their luggage, while others only pack carry-on bags.

According to DoT data, airlines lost an average of 6.2 out of 1,000 checked bags taken on non-stop domestic flights in the first half of 2022.

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