If you've checked a bag on a recent flight and didn't have any issues, count yourself lucky.
Throngs of frustrated flyers have seen their luggage go missing for days, weeks, and even months as airports around the globe struggle with unprecedented congestion; some particularly unlucky travellers never see their baggage again.
For example, a Surrey, B.C. man told Vancouver Is Awesome that he was "absolutely disgusted" after being reunited with his bag over a month after his trip with Air Canada.
But the outraged air passenger isn't the only local with a baggage horror tale to tell.
A Vancouver woman wrote on Twitter that the airline she flew with lost her luggage and still hasn't recovered it.
"Now a week later I’m trying to get home and my plane makes an unscheduled landing to switch pilots only to find out the new pilots actually can’t do it and I have to spend the night in Edmonton of all places," she adds.
Tanya from Burnaby wrote that her luggage was delayed for five days during a layover at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson (YYZ) airport. She added that she almost missed her connecting flight due to the handicap assistance being delayed for over an hour.
Ben of Vancouver also expressed his astonishment with the baggage handling on a recent flight from Albania.
In a tweet, the local said, "The whole bottom floor was a massive pile of luggage. EasyJet told us the bags were never loaded onto the plane. At least half the plane was missing luggage."
A Vancouverite who goes by Betty Black on social media expressed sheer relief upon receiving her luggage after visiting the airport a whopping six times in her attempt to locate it. She writes in a tweet that it was lost after WestJet put "the wrong bag tag on [her] suitcase."
A Langley resident wrote that he hasn't seen his luggage in three days since he arrived at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
Is there a way to keep track of your luggage on a flight?
Some travellers have been trying to get ahead of the issue by placing non-traditional luggage tags on their bags to prevent losing them on their journeys.
Whether you pick up an Apple AirTag, Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, a Tile Pro, or another "smart" tracking device, you can locate your luggage from anywhere in the world.
According to Samsung, its SmartTag can even be used offline, with its Galaxy Find Network. You use scanned data to find the bag privately.
"And it’s easy to scroll through a history of where the tag’s been to retrace it. You can also use other devices you own to locate your items," claims the company.
The Apple AirTag utilizes similar technology, allowing you to keep track of your belongings through its "Find My app" feature, which you can also use to track down your Apple devices.
Apple says the AirTag sends out a "secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network." The devices send the location of your AirTag to iCloud and you simply use the "Find My" application to view it on a map.
The AirTag can also be put into "Lost Mode." If you put it in this mode, when it’s detected by a device in the network, you’ll automatically get a notification.
According to Vancouverite Morgan, she could see that her luggage was sitting at the Dublin airport for two days via her AirTag.
"We’ve filed for delayed baggage, we’ve tried calling you, the airport, everyone and no one will respond. Please give it back and stop ruining our honeymoon," the frustrated traveller tweeted in an appeal to WestJet.
A Canadian woman also shared her story of using Apple's smart tag to keep track of her luggage between Saint John and Toronto.
Kelly Liang writes on TikTok that she was "testing out two different tracking devices in my luggage."
In a follow-up video, she said the "Tile did its job" but that the "AirTag is a little more accurate than the Tile." While they both "worked great," she preferred the latter as she "already had an Apple device."
What can you do if the airport loses your bags or delays them significantly?
On July 6, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) released a new resource for travellers who experience flight delays, cancellations, and baggage loss.
The document outlines information about travellers' rights and what they should do if their flight is delayed or cancelled, according to the online Air Passenger Protection (APP) document. It also provides information on the steps to take if their baggage is lost, damaged, or delayed.
But air passenger rights advocates say the CTA isn't acting in the passengers' interests.
Ultimately, however, you may want to pack light. The best way to prevent losing your luggage on a long-haul flight is by keeping it with you. Obviously, this may not be possible in all circumstances, particularly if you must pack a smorgasbord of options for a multifaceted travel experience.
Find packing tips and other ways to keep your luggage safe in our comprehensive baggage guide.