A passenger who forgot his computer on a flight arriving at Edinburgh Airport has reacted with disbelief after he was charged £20 to collect it from lost property – less than four hours later.
The charge was levied by commercial contractor Luggage Point, hired by Edinburgh Airport at the end of last year to run its lost and found service.
Charges for retrieving lost property can exceed £50 if owners are unable to collect possessions for two weeks or more.
The passenger, an Edinburgh teacher who wishes to remain anonymous, said it felt as if he was being “extorted”, and blasted the fee regime for being based on value of items, rather than size.
Luggage Point charges £5 for “small items of clothing”, flash drives and neck pillows, £7.50 for handbags, “standard clothing items” and rucksacks, £10 for suitcases, mobile phones, cameras and Kindles, and £20 for laptops, tablet PCs and jewellery.
Items not claimed within 14 days are subject to a £10 a day fee, up to a total of £50.
The man said that he realised he left his computer in his seat pocket “within minutes” of getting home, and logged a call with Luggage Point “immediately”.
But he still had to pay £20 despite reclaiming the item within a matter of hours.
He said: “I just couldn’t believe it. What gives Edinburgh Airport the right to take my property and hand it over to a third-party commercial organisation, who are then going to extort £20 out of me or more to get it back?”
The passenger added: “When the woman staffing the counter said they had lots of Asus laptops, she pulled out this packing crate. They were just all piled in there, rattling around next to each other.
“There was no putting it in a protective casing. I was so tired, I got the laptop and I walked off, before realising I’d left my driver’s licence on the counter. I went and picked it up, and she said, ‘It’s as well you came straight back, if you’d left it here, it would have been £5’.”
Items collected within two hours of being handed to Luggage Point cost £2 to reclaim. A spokesman added that items were insured while they were held. Luggage Point was contacted by the Evening News but did not provide a response by the time of going to press.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “We work closely with Luggage Point to offer customers an efficient lost property service.
“Items found are stored safely and securely in the airport until we are able to reunite them with their owners.”