Suit­case saga

Lug­gage at heart of com­pen­sa­tion story found in New Brunswick

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY JIM DAY

The lost lug­gage ca­per has taken an­other twist.

First, Lynne Thiele, 66, of Strat­ford went pub­lic com­plain­ing that Mar­itime Bus was of­fer­ing only $100 for her two suit­cases that went miss­ing when she took a shut­tle on July 1 from the Hal­i­fax Air­port to Char­lot­te­town.

On Tues­day, the com­pany upped the com­pen­sa­tion sig­nif­i­cantly by agree­ing to pay the full cost of re­plac­ing all of the trav­eller’s items, which Thiele es­ti­mated to be val­ued at about $3,500.

Mar­itime Bus pres­i­dent Mike Cas­sidy told The Guardian Wednes­day that a cheque had been pre­pared for Thiele.

But there has since been an­other devel­op­ment.

The lug­gage has been lo­cated at the Au­lac Big Stop Restau­rant in New Brunswick.

Thiele trans­ferred to an­other bus in Au­lac, but ap­par­ently her lug­gage was some­how left be­hind.

“There is a mis­step here some­where,’’ says Cas­sidy.

“I don’t know what hap­pened other than the bags will be here (in Char­lot­te­town) at sup­per hour (Wednes­day).’’

The com­pany and Thiele had both be­lieved that the lug­gage had been stolen. “So there is no theft,’’ says Cas­sidy. “The good news is it is an er­ror of some sort and the bags are found.’’

Loretta Sim­monds, man­ager of the Au­lac Big Stop con­ve­nience store, says staff found the lug­gage in­side the store on July 1.

A tag on one suit­case had Thiele’s name and ad­dress but not her phone num­ber. A mes­sage was sent through Face­Book but no re­ply was re­ceived.

Sim­monds adds no thought was given to call­ing Mar­itime Bus or any other bus com­pany be­cause the lo­ca­tion is not a usual bus stop.

“I’m glad that she’s get­ting (the suit­cases) back, ab­so­lutely,’’ says Sim­monds.

“I’m sur­prised that it took that long. It is nice lug­gage, so I as­sumed some­one would be call­ing be­fore too long.’’

Thiele is baf­fled learn­ing that her lug­gage was left at the store.

“I thought (the bus driver) put it on the bus, (but) I wouldn’t be the best wit­ness at an ac­ci­dent,’’ she notes. “It bog­gles the mind how it could be sit­ting there for that long.’’

“Hope­fully this is the end of the story,’’ she adds.

“It is won­der­ful to have the things I love back.’’

Cas­sidy says the in­ci­dent has prompted him to make some changes, in­clud­ing a more gen­er­ous pol­icy for lost bag­gage and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a daily track­ing sys­tem to keep bet­ter tabs on parcels and lug­gage.

“I thought (the bus driver) put it on the bus, (but) I wouldn’t be the best wit­ness at an ac­ci­dent. It bog­gles the mind how it could be sit­ting there for that long. Hope­fully this is the end of the story. It is won­der­ful to have the things I love back.’’ Lynne Thiele

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