In a recent incident, tennis star Venus Williams expressed her frustration with American Airlines after her luggage went missing before a crucial tennis match. Williams took to social media to criticize the airline for the inconvenience caused and the effort she had to put in to track down her lost bag.
The incident occurred just three days before the Canadian Open, where the seven-time Grand Slam champion was scheduled to compete. Instead of focusing on her preparation for the tournament, she found herself dealing with the aftermath of her lost luggage, mistakenly sent to the Bahamas, approximately 1,400 miles (2,250 km) away from her destination, Montreal, Canada.
The renowned US tennis star described the process of trying to retrieve her bag as a “full-time job” and joked about the situation on her Instagram account, saying she has found herself in the unanticipated role of dedicated luggage tracker. “I think I spent all my unlimited minutes calling you all which has become my full-time job day and night,” she wrote on an expired Instagram story. She concluded her message with a smiling-crying emoji, adding, “this has been so much fun.”
This is not the first time the 43-year-old athlete has faced such an issue with American Airlines. She expressed her frustration with the airline’s repeated mishandling of her luggage and the need to follow up with them repeatedly.
As a distinguished “million miler” with American Airlines, Williams holds a lifetime “gold” status, which typically waives baggage check-in fees. Notably, passengers traveling to and from Canada who have paid to stow their luggage in the hold are entitled to a refund if their bags are lost, delayed, or damaged by the airline. American Airlines has not yet responded to Williams’ complaints publicly.
Despite her luggage ordeal, Venus Williams took to the court at Montreal’s Omnium Banque Nationale competition, facing off against Madison Keys. Regrettably, Williams suffered a defeat in straight sets during the match.
This incident isn’t isolated. A report earlier this year revealed that airlines experienced the highest rate of mishandled luggage in a decade during the summer of 2022. Approximately 26 million bags were misplaced throughout the year, indicating a significant rise in such incidents.
Venus Williams’ case serves as a reminder that even celebrities are not immune to the challenges of air travel and the potential mishaps that can occur with baggage handling.