Southwest traveler gets reunited with luggage in San Jose after seeing it on live ABC7 newscast

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, December 30, 2022
Traveler reunites with luggage at SJC after seeing it on ABC7
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A Southwest traveler was reunited with his luggage in San Jose after seeing it during an ABC7 newscast.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Southwest Airlines says it will resume normal operations on Friday, Dec. 30 after several days of canceling thousands of flights a day.

On Thursday, the airline canceled nearly 2,300 flights nationwide.

Southwest says they've made so much progress in the past couple of days -- realigning crew, schedules and their fleet -- that they say they'll be back to normal with "minimal disruptions" by Friday.

But faith in this airline isn't exactly running at an all-time high, with many travelers still waiting to find their unclaimed bags at airports across the country.

RELATED: Southwest plans to return to normal operations Friday after canceling 15,000+ flights over last week

"My plans were pretty much ruined. I've been stuck here for three days, trying to find lodging, things of those nature -- and finally, I get to go home today," said Antonio Barry, a St. Louis resident.

As some travelers are finally able to catch a flight home after the Southwest Airlines Christmas nightmare, others are frantically working to get reunited with their luggage.

Jessie Swift was supposed to head home to Mountain House, flying into the San Jose Airport from Vegas on Monday, but his bag was already checked when his flight got cancelled.

No sign of the bag until he saw it live on ABC7 News, sitting in a pile of hundreds of other unclaimed bags, so he raced to the airport to get it.

Then there was Kay Barklow out of Woodland.

"So we got to Las Vegas and everything shut down," Barklow said.

Barklow said they were supposed to fly into San Jose from Hawaii, where their cars are, earlier this week.

RELATED: As Southwest flight cancellations continue, Buttigieg vows to hold airline accountable

Instead, they got rebooked on a flight to Vegas where they've been stuck since Monday, without any luggage. Meaning, no extra clothes, no medication and no makeup.

"Fortunately our doctor was able to call in a prescription to a pharmacy here in Vegas, but I certainly learned my lesson," she said.

ABC7 Reporter Lena Howland saw Barklow's personal bag tag sticking out on the corner of a pile of unclaimed bags, with her phone number and address and decided to try calling.

Barklow said she had no idea where her bag was until that phone call and was just preparing to fill out the lost luggage form online.

RELATED: If your Southwest flight was canceled, here's how to get your refund

"I was delighted to hear that it made it to San Jose," she said. "Honestly! And I have no idea when we're going to get those back, or I can't even remember what all was in them!"

And Southwest says it will be waiting for her, as soon as she gets back on Friday, despite flying into Sacramento first.

If you're still missing luggage, you can submit a claim through the Southwest Airlines website at no cost to you, meaning they will ship to any address for free.

You are not obligated to drive to a separate airport to retrieve your luggage.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live