Grieving mother: Luggage with daughter's ashes lost by airline

Posted at 7:43 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 22:43:13-04

It's said a parent should never lose their child, but it happened to Iddy Pierre Canel.

Iddy's daughter Carm Idrelle died unexpectedly last year at the age of 28.

"She was everything a parent could ever want," Iddy says of her daughter.

Iddy was coming back from an East Coast memorial service for her daughter last year with an urn carrying Carm's ashes resting in her carry-on bag.

Iddy says she was approached by an American Airlines worker to check the bag, but she told the worker no because her daughter's ashes were inside.

But as she headed into the plane, Iddy says the worker took her bags.

Iddy says she believed the bags would be stored in the cabin and handed to her as she left the plane.

Instead, Iddy says the bags were checked. And she later found, they were lost.

"I didn't lose my baby once, you understand. It's twice," she told me.

Iddy says she emailed American asking about the urn and other valuables in her carry-on bags.

She ended up getting back the bag with the urn.

It was damaged and no urn to be found.

Iddy says she wanted an investigation but doesn't know where that ended up.

She tells us she was offered $250, but that was it.

Then she filed a lawsuit with the help of attorney Lorraine Morey.

Morey says American didn't handle the situation properly.

"In our opinioin it was with indifference and callousness. She didn't lose a pair of shoes," she says.

And Morey says American breached its own rules, "that cremated remains be kept with a person in the passenger cabin."

American denies the claims.

In its answer to the lawsuit, American says it's Iddy who caused any injury or damages.

American says Iddy did not mention the urn in her lost baggage claim report.

Iddy says that's because she was told they already knew about the urn, and she thought the claim was for belongings with monetary value.

In statements to us, American also says:

We certainly never want to mishandle luggage and apologized to Ms. Pierre Canal. For any lost items, we request the passenger property questionnaire be filled out. For any items valued at more than $150, we ask for documentation or receipts, which was not provided in this instance. I can confirm that this case is currently in legal proceedings.

As far as why she would have to check a carry-on bag, occasionally we run out of overhead bin space and need to check passengers' bags. If that happens, the bags are routed to the customer's final destination and can be retrieved at baggage claim. We would always request passengers remove valuable items, medication and any important documents if they need to check their bags.

I will point out that in the first email she sent....  she said she checked two bags upon checking in. It's not until later that she said she was forced to gate check one. And yes, if we had known that her ashes were in the bag she would have been asked to carry it on.