San Francisco Chronicle reporter says child’s car seat was moved to ‘random house’ as Southwest sorts through unclaimed luggage

Dan Smith

San Francisco, CA (KABC) -- As Southwest Airlines continues to sort out stranded passengers and unclaimed packages, a San Francisco reporter said her child's car seat ended up at a stranger's house.

SF Chronicle reporter Megan Cassidy tweeted to Southwest on Tuesday night: Riverview Gardens".

A Southwest Airlines rep responded to Cassidy in a tweet shortly afterward, saying, "Hi Megan. We are running late in splitting our luggage and need a luggage tag to release it. We'll discuss it, DM us." Please further this situation."

According to a tweet posted by Cassidy, she uses AirTag, a tracking device developed by Apple, to track packages.

Cassidy says thousands of travelers to the Southwest have not received their packages.

At Hollywood Burbank Airport on Wednesday, piles of unclaimed luggage lay outside the baggage claim carousel, and in a departure from normal operations, Southwest staff individually called out their names and handed each passenger their luggage personally. handed over.

"Everybody was talking about how crazy this whole thing was. I was visiting family so it definitely turned out good, but I'm at the airport," said traveler Sidney Roddy. People were talking about being on their last day of meds and being separated from their families and feeling really sick about the whole thing."

Southwest CEO Bob Jordan apologizes in video

Jordan apologized to passengers and employees in a video released Tuesday night.

Jordan said, "We are doing everything we can to return to normal operations, but please also hear that we are truly sorry.

He said the airline had decided to "significantly reduce flights to catch up" with a large number of planes and crews "losing their positions" in dozens of cities.

Jordan admitted he had issues with the company's response, but the statement suggested he didn't foresee major changes to Southwest's operational plans in response to the mass cancellations.

“The tools you use to recover from chaos will help you 99% of the time, but to avoid facing what's happening now again, you need to revoke your existing plans to upgrade your systems for these extreme situations. It's clear that we need to double down," Jordan said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg held airlines accountable. He calls this situation a complete system "meltdown."

Union officials representing pilots in the Southwest said they expect flight schedules to return to near-normal by the end of the week.

But the Southwest isn't the only one dealing with the issue.

On Wednesday, EyeWitness News found passengers from Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines stranded at John Wayne Airport.

But at 4 p.m. Wednesday, FlightAware reported that more than three-quarters of those whose flights were canceled at John Wayne Airport were on Southwest Airlines.

Airlines accounted for more than half of the 4,600 canceled flights nationwide. The second highest is China Eastern, which accounts for his 13% of US cancellations.

So what should stuck customers do?

"First and foremost, travelers who are still stuck in the Southwest and need to go somewhere should book a flight with another airline as soon as really," travel advice said. Kyle Potter, managing editor of the website Thrifty Traveler, said in an email to CNN Travel on Tuesday.

“Right now, every airline in the country is so crowded that the chances of finding a seat, even at half the price, are getting smaller by the hour,” said Potter.

Phil Dengler, co-founder of travel advice site The Vacationer, said stranded southwest passengers need to get out of the clouds.

"I would recommend looking for alternative transportation. Southwest Airlines may act in the next few days, but I would not risk it," Dengler said. “We are legally required to refund the full amount in cash if a flight is cancelled, so it is in our best interest to have a solid backup plan.”

He also suggested looking for cheap car rentals from services such as AutoSlash.

"I also recommend checking Amtrak to see if any available trains will take you to your destination," he said.

He said that if you can't rent a car or take a train, you should use Google flights to search for cheap flights on other airlines.

And, "If all else fails, Southwest Airlines will eventually get to their destination, but it may not be until the weekend or early next week. Travelers like this will have to pay for all receipts." Documents must be saved securely.

Southwest itself wants the same for receipts.

"If you've already left, take care of yourself, do what's necessary for your family, and keep your receipts," Southwest Airlines spokesman Jay McVay said at a press conference earlier this week. "Make sure they take care of it. It doesn't matter."

If you're stuck and trying to reach a customer service representative doesn't work, the founder of Scott's Cheap Flights suggests trying an international phone number.

"The main hotlines of U.S. airlines will be filled with other passengers trying to rebook. To contact an agent immediately, contact one of the airline's dozens of international offices Call me,' said Scott Keyes.

CNN contributed to this report.

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