An Air Canada passenger says the airline lost her luggage that contained her parents' ashes

An Air Canada passenger says the airline lost her luggage that contained her parents' ashes
Unclaimed luggage piled up at an airport.PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.
  • A US tourist traveling to Dublin says an airline lost luggage that contained her parent's ashes.
  • Donna O'Conner had planned to spread some of the ashes on a family farm in Ireland.

An American tourist who traveled from Chicago to Dublin on an Air Canada flight through Toronto said the airline lost a bag containing her parents' ashes for 13 days.

The bag was eventually returned to Donna O'Conner's home in Chicago, but she is still in Ireland and has yet to be reunited with her luggage.

Air Canada did not respond to requests for comment from Insider.

O'Conner said she planned to spread some of the ashes in the western Irish county of Mayo, where her family is originally from, during her three-month trip. But soon after arriving at Dublin Airport in the eastern part of the country on July 1, she discovered her bag hadn't made the journey.

O'Conner said she had "a very hard time mentally" while the bag was lost in transit and struggled to eat and sleep properly.


"I waited 3 ½ hours at the carousel when I landed," O'Conner told Insider. "Finally, I realized that we were just seeing the same things go around."

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "I didn't know whether to stay or to go home, back to Chicago."

O'Conner decided to stay in Dublin temporarily so she could be close to the airport in case her luggage arrived.

After a week, she moved to County Meath, located in the east of Ireland and close to the country's capital. She said she still didn't travel to Mayo as originally planned as she was worried about being too far from Dublin airport.

O'Conner said she arrived in Dublin with only what she had brought on the plane. She added that she had to replace her wardrobe, toiletries, and daily essentials like chargers and adapters.


O'Conner says she suspects her luggage was lost in her flight transfer in Toronto.

According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, O'Conner's plane from Toronto to Dublin was delayed at Toronto Pearson International Airport for almost 4 ½ hours.

O'Conner said the passengers were held on the plane for at least two hours.

"We were at the gate with the door open," she said. "People tried to deplane including me, but they didn't allow anybody to."

The captain later told the passengers they were "delayed because of intermittent baggage handling," according to O'Conner.


She said Air Canada's communication throughout the ordeal had been limited and no one ever answered the lost-baggage phone lines when she rang.

"The other airlines work — but with Air Canada, there's nothing," she said.

The past few weeks have been rife with stories of lost baggage and travel chaos around the world.

Another Air Canada passenger, Latrice Rubenstein, said she lost a bag containing her wedding dress during an Air Canada-operated flight from Portugal to Dublin, Insider reported.

One woman who was due to travel on an Air Canada flight told Insider's Hannah Towey that she was "abandoned" by the airline after her flight was canceled.