DIA increases baggage claim security amid Southwest meltdown

Brittany Anas

Baggage piling up at Denver International Airport.Photo byBrittany Anas

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, CO) With lost luggage piling up at airports amid thousands of Southwest Airlines flight cancellations, Denver International Airport is increasing security in its baggage claim areas.

Southwest Airlines doesn’t have an estimate of how many bags have been separated from travelers, but scenes at airports including DIA show hundreds of stray bags crowding baggage claim areas. DIA’s CEO Phil Washington says he’s asked the Denver Police Department to add officers to the baggage claim area to ensure lost luggage isn’t being stolen.

On Sunday (Christmas Day) Southwest canceled 1,635 flights, or 46 percent of its schedule for the day. The number ballooned to 2,908 flights on Monday and hovered around 2,300 flights per day through Thursday.

Southwest canceled 43 flights and by Sunday, the daily cancelations were down to 26, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking service. The reduced cancellations signal a return to normal, but the travel chaos remains high at airports as passengers look to reunite with their belongings.

The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate passengers for bags that have been lost, damaged or delayed, including the contents of the bags up to $3,800. Airlines can choose to pay more.

Travelers can file a baggage report online or in-person at the airport to get reunited with their luggage, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

Westminster, CO

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