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Frustrated family claims car seat, stroller broken on Sunwing flight

Last Updated Feb 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm EST

A Toronto family says they’ve spent nearly a week without their stroller and car seat after both were damaged on a Sunwing flight.

Robyn Bluestein and her family flew from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto on Sunday, January 28th. She says they chose to gate-check their stroller and car seat because both items are fragile and shouldn’t be dropped or tossed around.

Bluestein says when they arrived in Toronto, they were told to collect the items from the oversized baggage area — that’s when she noticed the stroller and car seat were placed face down on a carousel packed with other bags.

Although she did not know how extensive the damage was, Bluestein says she approached a Sunwing airport employee and was asked to complete a Property Irregularity Report. It wasn’t until she got home that she noticed the stroller was damaged beyond repair, indicating her luggage was handled with anything but care.

She says the car seat’s headrest was broken, the adapters that connect the car seat to the stroller were missing, and so was the strap for the stroller’s protective carrying case. The frame had been scratched and the clip that holds it together had been broken too. Bluestein says the stroller, car seat and protective bag originally cost a combined $1775.

She claims she followed up with Sunwing four days after she hadn’t heard from them. The company responded on Monday, nearly a week after her original report, with a message saying her claim will be followed up within 30 days.

Sunwing addressed this situation with this statement:

“We are aware of one report that was made regarding a damaged stroller on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto. Per our policy, the arrival baggage agent assisted the customer and provided them with a copy of their damage report at the airport. They were then advised to contact our local affiliated repair centre to get the stroller repaired or replaced if unrepairable (as per the centre’s assessment). Assuming the proper protocol was followed, the passenger should not have to wait for someone to call them back nor do they need to receive further instructions from Baggage claims.”

“In this particular case, the passenger did send us an email on Wednesday January 31st, claiming that they since found additional damage to the stroller which they did not initially notice at the airport or report on the original claim. This new information requires us to re-open the claim. During high season, it is not unusual for our response time to take slightly longer. We do apologize for the inconvenience and given the circumstances, our Claims Coordinator will be contacting them today to provide resolution.”

This is the second viewer complaint CityNews has received about damaged luggage. Last week, a couple flying from Aruba landed back home and noticed a part of their bag was burned.

Sunwing did get back to us and acknowledged the issue with statement reading in part: “Our policy, once a claim is made, is to offer our passengers a replacement for their suitcase and any damaged items within it when incidents such as this one occur.”