On Thursday, December 28, Valerie Szybala arrived in Washington, D.C., after transferring flights via United Airlines to Chicago, Illinois. Upon landing, she was notified via the United app that her bag had been delayed. The app said his stuff would reach DC on Friday and gave him the option of getting his stuff delivered.
“I said okay, and that was a big mistake,” she said. Independent. “The third party company they contracted with took my bag on quite a few rides and I could tell because of the airtag I had.”
It all started when Sijbala tweeted a viral tweet on Sunday Thread That United Airlines had lost its luggage. she used airtag to track down her suitcase’s bizarre location outside a residential complex, and discovered that only her luggage was not stored haphazardly in the apartment complex. Outside, he found the others tossed through the trash and found it empty.
Despite telling United’s customer support that her luggage was missing, she was told to “calm down” and that her bag was “safe” at the Delivery Services distribution center.
Amazingly, this was not the case.
He started the viral Twitter thread, which now has 125k likes and 15.3m views.
“My Apple AirTag shows that it has been sitting in a residential apartment complex for over a day. Back from the garbage dump, I’ve found other empty United Airlines bags,” she wrote. Along with the tweet, Cibala included a picture of other suitcases strewn around the concrete complex.
On Friday evening, Sizbala noticed her luggage lying in the parking lot of a suburban shopping center for an hour, before moving across the street to an apartment complex where it remained for about three days.
“I actually went to check that night to see if it was, in fact, as I thought it was a residential apartment building. And it was,” Sjibala said. Airtag could not get a signal, confirming it was definitely not a distribution center as United had said.
The next day, Szybala’s suitcase was still at the apartment complex and she went back again to find her bag. Although she didn’t find anything on Saturday, when Szbala returned on Sunday, she found two empty suitcases near the dustbin.
“I walked around the back of the complex and found two more empty bags,” she explained. “They looked clean. It didn’t look like there were bags that you would throw away.
It was then that she was chatting with a United Airlines customer service representative and told them what she had seen. In a screenshot of his conversation from the support chat, Sizbala wrote: “The Apple AirTag tracker I have in my luggage indicates it has been sitting in this residential apartment complex for several days.”
Sajibala informed the customer service representative that “the empty United customer bags were out by the dumpsters” and asked why her belongings were moved to this location.
After receiving no response, Szybala asked if the delegates were still there, to which they replied: “You calm down”. [sic] The bag is in delivery service. We’ll deliver the bag to you, don’t worry.”
Perhaps it was the United customer service rep’s response that angered Twitter users the most, as many pointed out the audacity in calling Sizbala “cool.”
One Twitter user replied, “‘Calm down’ would have made me see red.”
“It’s wild,” said someone else before mentioning seeing “rows and rows and rows” of luggage at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. “Total mess”.
Another person said: “That condescending ‘calm down’ must have made me play a complete fool in DMs.”
Even Szybala was taken aback by the United customer service representative’s response. “I told them what I saw and they completely attacked me,” she said Independent, “It was clear they were lying. It was not true because the tracking device was saying my bag was inside the building and I saw two empty bags outside.”
After filing a police report about the missing item, Sizbala decided to post about it on Twitter.
Hours after posting his initial tweet, Sizbala informed his followers that his airtag was underway and had stopped at a McDonald’s restaurant, only to return to the same apartment complex where he had been “held hostage” for the past two days. Is.
Shaybala got her bag on Monday itself. “I realized, ‘Oh, this has to be in the trunk of a car. It’s going on these trips,'” she said. “I was looking in the wrong place, I needed to go to the garage.”
Sizbala tracked her bag through the airtag once again, from the suburbs to the shopping center and back to the apartment complex. “I decided, this is my chance. I’m going to take it. It’s in the garage,” she said. “And that’s what I did.”
Along with a crew from two local news stations, Sizbala also received help from a resident of the apartment building who had been following her Twitter thread. “He helped us navigate the garage, because you need to swipe through it, and we got a faint hint to use the iPhone for the bag,” Sizbala recalled.
But when she stepped out of the garage and got cell service back on, she received a “sketchy” text message from a delivery service courier she named Milton.
Taking to the popular Twitter thread, Ciabala shared a screenshot of the text message, which read: “I am delivering the missing luggage from your flight with AA/UA. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you with your bags.” Sorry. Imma get it to you today.
The courier explained that “The bag was delivered to me under a different passenger and I delivered your [sic] At a different address and had to go back to that place and pick it up.
However, Milton’s message did not match what Ciabella’s airtag tracking showed. “It didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t,” she said. So, he decided to call Milton. When he picked up the phone, he told Ciabala that he was just around the corner and went back to meet her near the apartment complex where she found her bag.
Even with her belongings now safe and sound at home, Sizbala had many puzzling questions and not many answers. “I still think there was something very sinister going on at this address,” she said. Sajibala suggested that, with the chaos of the holiday season, the backlog of missing luggage makes it easy to steal someone else’s suitcase.
“I think it makes the most sense, that there was no intention of returning my bag to me,” she said.
Sajibala also revealed that two empty bags found by the dumper outside the apartment complex were gone later on Monday. A building resident told Sizbala that the suitcase was not picked up by garbage collection, but was brought back inside by someone in the building, which “definitely adds to the sketchy factor,” she tweeted.
Szybala once had a wild trip the past three days for missing luggage, so he concluded his viral Twitter thread by sharing some of the lessons he’s learned since United Airlines lost his bag.
One of the three lessons learned was that using a tracking device in their luggage “can be a lifesaver,” that travelers should take a photo or inventory of their luggage in case they need to file a reimbursement claim, and pickup on the “Never choose delivery” option if their bag arrives on a later flight.
United Airlines has yet to publicly comment on the missing luggage case, beyond Sijbala’s initial conversation with United’s customer support chat. in a statement to IndependentUnited Airlines said: “We are working with our baggage delivery vendor to understand the details of this situation.”
Despite being offered some miles by United Airlines, Sizbala was told the company had launched an investigation into the mysterious apartment complex saga, but has not heard back since.
“It’s really up to United, at this point, to hold its subcontractors accountable — to call it a service and rely on them to deliver people’s bags when the most horrifying stories people share in the responses My bag was delivered to a different address,” said Sajibala.
“For me, it’s a happy story. But I feel really bad for people because everyone is going through something like this at the moment, or a lot of people are. It’s really upsetting and everyone Won’t be able to go viral and get his bag back.
This article was originally published on Jan 2, 2023.