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Lost luggage: Here’s what happens to your baggage after check-in – National




Everyone knows somebody with a horror story about delayed, or worse, lost baggage.

In reality, though, more than 99 per cent of luggage is reunited with its rightful owner within 48 hours.

Still, losing luggage can be extremely frustrating and inconvenient. Most times, you’re left with only the clothes on your back and items in your carry-on bag.

Mishandled luggage — as the air transport industry refers to it — is not cheap, costing the industry US$2.9 billion every year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

“We’ve been seeing a dramatic rise in complaints,” CEO of Canadian Transportation Agency, Scott Streiner, explained to Global News.

“In 2014-2015, we got about 700-800 complaints a year. Last year we finished with 5,300 complaints, so there’s been a dramatic increase overall.”

Tips to prevent lost/delayed luggage

  • Don’t put valuables or medication in checked baggage.
  • Put your identification on the outside and inside of your bag. Putting a copy of your itinerary inside the bag will also help the airline find you in case your bag gets lost.
  • Since most mishandling occurs during transfers, try not to book flights with short connection times.
  • Check-in early.
  • Make a list of items you packed. This helps when an airline asks what you had in your bag if it does get mishandled.
  • At bag-drop, ensure the correct destination is marked on your luggage tag.
  • Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag so you have something to wear if your bag is delayed or lost.

How bags get lost in the first place

After checking in your bag at the airport, it goes through an epic journey of its own.

Suitcases are moved around from one conveyor to another in a massive underground labyrinth known as the luggage handling system.

“The technology used to carry your bag is really, really advanced,” explained Andrew Price, head of global baggage operations at IATA.

“You have conveyors that move the bags around. You have security screening machines. Then you have things like the early storage, where you may have robotics that are handling 4,000 to 5,000 bags.”

Watch the video above to get an inside look at how the luggage handling process works.

However, the system is not fool-proof.

READ MORE: Pro golfer blames Air Canada for temporarily losing clubs, hurting his chance at the European Tour

According to airline information technology company SITA, 47 per cent of bags were delayed in 2017 because of transfer mishandling.

Failures to load accounted for 16 per cent of mishandled bags.

Ticketing errors, bag switches, security issues and other problems represented 15 per cent.

Airport, customs, weather or space-weight restrictions accounted for 10 per cent.

Other issues include loading errors, tagging errors and arrival mishandling.

“It’s not always something that happens because of the airline or airport,” Price said.

“Sometimes, it’s criminals doing these things.”

READ MORE: RCMP use bait bags to crack down on baggage theft at YVR

What you are entitled to if your bags are delayed or lost in transit

It depends on your airline’s specific policy — which is governed by what’s called the Montreal Convention.

The international treaty was created in 1999 to protect air passengers travelling on international flights and sets common rules of compensation among the 120 countries that ratified it.

READ MORE: Air Canada, WestJet raising checked baggage fees

“Under the convention, airlines under international trips have to provide compensation if a bag is lost or damaged when you can demonstrate a loss,” Streiner said.

In Canada, the airline is generally liable to pay up to $2,000 to cover your losses.

What happens to unclaimed bags?

If a bag has not successfully been reunited with its rightful owner after 90 days, it could be thrown out, donated to a charity or end up at an auction house.

United Way Greater Toronto told Global News it once had the opportunity to pick up unclaimed luggage from Air Canada.

“Most of the items were clothes — some new — and souvenirs, which were given to shelters.”

Allison Sharpe, director of donor engagement, said the most helpful were the suitcases themselves.

“When someone transitions from a shelter, they will typically put their belongings in a plastic bag. The unclaimed luggage allowed shelters to give their clients the dignity of leaving with their belongings in a suitcase.”

In the U.S., many orphaned bags end up at the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scottsboro, Ala.

Famously known for its lost treasures, the store claims to be one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions, hosting over a million visitors a year.

Clothes in decent condition are cleaned and electronics are tested, fixed and wiped of data.

Some of the most incredible finds include a crocodile head, a unicycle, and a platinum Rolex watch worth over US$60,000.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali



Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

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Harris accepts VP nomination



Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself



Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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