Nakita Rees and Tom Wilson were traveling back from their honeymoon when Wilson's luggage got stuck in Montreal.
The couple tracked the luggage for months using an Apple AirTag.
Rees and Wilson finally were reunited with the bag last month, after it was donated to charity.
Nakita Rees and Tom Wilson were on their way back to Ontario from their honeymoon when they were told to recheck their bags before a connection in Montreal.
But when they landed at home, an Apple AirTag showed Wilson's bag was still in Quebec. Months of multiple calls to the airline, knocking on doors, and a police investigation ensued before the couple got an unlikely explanation.
"We've heard from the cop and this is gonna blow your mind, TikTok," Rees said in a video with 51,000 views on the platform. "Our luggage was donated to a charity on behalf of Air Canada."
Over four months, Rees documented the hunt in a series of videos. They garnered thousands of views, and the couple made headlines in Canada before the luggage finally was returned late last month.
"The only reason we got it back is because it became high profile," Rees told Insider in an interview this week. "And that's sad."
Air Canada explained to CBC: "This customer travelled late in the summer at a time when all air carriers in Canada were still recovering from the COVID-related, systemic disruption of the entire air transport industry. One consequence was an elevated rate of baggage delays."
The search begins with an Apple AirTag
In the first of three Tiktok videos, Rees said she filed a lost luggage report after Wilson's bag didn't make it to Toronto. The couple thought little of it until the Apple AirTag attached to the bag showed it was at a public storage facility just outside Toronto in Etobicoke, she said.
"And then it sat there — for a month, two months, three months," Rees said in the video.
In a second video, Rees showed screenshots tracking the AirTag; it traveled down the highway from Quebec to Ontario and stopped briefly at what appeared to be two homes before winding up at the storage facility.
Air Canada compensated Wilson and Rees about $2,300 for the luggage, which it considered lost, Rees told Insider. The sum is the legal maximum for lost baggage, according to CBC, and Rees said that covered about a third of the value of Wilson's belongings.
But she told Insider she was never after compensation — she and her husband wanted the bag back. "You own your luggage at the end of the day. You deserve that property back."
A trip to a storage facility proves unsuccessful
Rees said she and Wilson went to the storage facility after their AirTag showed the bag there for months. With no luck on a first visit, Rees asked a manager at Toronto Pearson Airport for help — but the manager had never heard of the facility before.
"We don't use that unit," Rees recalled being told. "I don't know what that unit is."
Rees told Insider she and Wilson then involved the police, who opened the storage unit where the couple had tracked the bag.
"What do we find? Floor to ceiling, wall to wall luggage," Rees said in a TikTok video.
But still no bag. Rees later learned through police that Air Canada donated it to a charity — which seemingly used the storage facility, she said.
Rees doesn't know the name of the charity, and told Insider she is waiting for a police report with more information.
The whole situation is suspicious, she said.
Reunited at last
In a final update posted to TikTok by Rees and Wilson on January 23, the couple announced that they finally had received the luggage.
Rees told Insider that she and Wilson were given an individual case handler by Air Canada after their story gained traction. Within 48 hours, the bag was at their front door.
"They searched through 1,200 bags and within 24 hours they found it," Wilson said in the video, recounting a conversation with a courier for Air Canada. "Even though they couldn't find it in the four months before."
Rees said in the video that everything in the bag was intact, including a bottle of wine. But, she told Insider, the airline partially blamed the couple because they left no identifying information inside the bag.
Rees said there was a tag attached to the outside of the bag, but it must have come off after it was checked.
In a statement to CBC, Air Canada said it made every effort to identify the owners of the bag.
"In this particular case, the situation was compounded by the disconnection of the baggage tag at some point on the journey," Air Canada said, per CBC. "Despite our best efforts, it was not possible for us to identify the bag's owner. It was designated as unclaimed, and we moved to compensate the customer."
But Rees still wants to know exactly what happened, and why the bag was kept in a public storage facility for months.
"If it takes me and my husband to hold them accountable — that's exactly what we plan on doing," Rees told Insider. "They don't see the value in someone's luggage."
Insider reached out to Air Canada for comment, but did not receive a response.
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