Travel headaches continue at new airport terminal

Travel headaches continue at new airport terminal

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A number of travelers flying out of New Orleans found out their bags got lost somewhere along the way.

"I’m freezing right now. All of my cold weather coats are in that bag. I just have a windbreaker and pants on and I’m freezing. It's like 25 degrees up here,” said Tony Anderson.

Those stories did not sit well with passengers who checked their bags thinking all would be well.

“With new things come bumps, but that’s a big bump so I’m hoping my bag is there or we’ll have issues,” said Journe Dupre.

Chris Sloan is an aviation researcher and journalist who has followed the opening of dozens of airport terminals across the globe. He says baggage issues are almost to be expected with the opening of any terminal because of how complicated and the number of mishaps possible, including New Orleans’ new 35-gate terminal.

“There are times even with a mature baggage systems even 10-15 percent of the time the barcode reader doesn't pick it up correctly then they have to be manually sorted, so there are multiple opportunities for bags to be misplaced,” said Sloan.

In a statement, an airport spokesperson said they continue to have issues with the outbound baggage system, issues ranging from software to mechanical issues.

They say the airport is working with airlines, contractors, and vendors to make adjustments and deploy additional staff to provide support.

Sloan says comparatively, prior airport terminals have had to cancel flights because of baggage issues.

“I think they're going to sort it out fairly quickly they're not using an untested system they literally ran a lot of tests leading up to it,” said Sloan.

However, those landing in New Orleans for the Saints game were nothing but pleased with the new airport.

“I’m looking forward to the flight out after the Saints game and checking out the bars and restaurants upstairs,” said Tom Hoffmann.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office did confirm they staffed an extra K-9 unit to help with processing and inspecting the outbound baggage system.

As for traffic, Kenner Police says DOTD changes to the light sync time at the Loyola intersection seems to have helped, but there’s still more congestion coming from the city.

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