Hundreds of bags stuck at Paris airport due to labor dispute

Susan Golden and her husband Gary, of Nassau County, have been missing their luggage for nearly two weeks.

Their bags — with Apple AirTag tracking devices — sit with hundreds of others at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The couple got on an Air France connecting flight to JFK Airport on July 1 but their luggage did not. 

"How are they allowed to continue to fly every day and more luggage is piling up?" she said.

A Facebook group has over 100 other members also missing their baggage. 

The airline posted an apology on its website. In a statement to Fox 5, a spokesperson cited a strike by some airport workers in charge of baggage handling and said the airline is working to make sure the situation rapidly returns to normal

This is hardly the only issue plaguing air travel these days.

"It's all over staffing — whether it's pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers to keep up with the demand," said Clint Henderson, the managing editor for news at The Points Guy.

Travel experts say the meltdown is due to staff shortages coupled with more people traveling this summer after being pent-up during the COVID-19 pandemic. The experts offer some advice.

"You only want to have a carry-on with you," Frommer's Guidebooks editorial director Pauline Frommer said. "You want to fly on the first flight of the day — that way you know the plane you're flying on, and your crew, was at the airport overnight."

Just under 700,000 bags were mishandled in the first quarter of this year, according to data from Air Travel Consumer Reports. Break it down, and that's roughly seven out of every 1,000 bags. 

But the Goldens say their bags aren't lost; they're being held hostage.

"Our bags are bargaining chips between the union workers and airport to negotiate a contract," Gary said.

Air France said all baggage is expected to be delivered in the coming days.

If flying with just a carry-on isn't for you, don't check your bag more than three hours before takeoff to avoid your luggage going into a holding area. Now more so than ever before, be sure to pack your patience.