Edinburgh Airport luggage: Woman whose stranded case contains brother's ashes hits out at delays
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A grieving sister whose stranded Edinburgh Airport luggage contains her brother's ashes has hit out at ‘criminal’ delays, after weeks of desperately trying to get her bag back.
Rosemary Lacey flew to Edinburgh from Canada on July 8 with Aer Lingus and then went on to Belfast. She was travelling to reunite her brother Carl’s ashes with his parents, who are buried in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.
But Ms Lacey, 63, only got one of two checked bags back at Edinburgh Airport. Now, after weeks of daily calls and emails, there is still no sign of the missing one. The mum-of-two fears she will now have to travel back to Canada without getting Carl’s ashes back.
She said: “At this point, I am afraid that my brother will not be reunited with his parents. After five weeks, I still have no information. My brother’s fondest wish was to be reunited with our mum and dad. His passing was a shock. I didn’t want him to be alone. I’m sure it’s in Edinburgh as I got one other bag back. All bags should be handled with care. It’s impossible to put a value on all my brother’s ashes.”
The airport, which is not responsible for baggage handling, has drafted in a company to help unite travellers with their bags amid reports of piles of unclaimed luggage piling up and persistent delays forcing passengers to go home without their luggage.
Ms Lacey added: "I contacted my airline, Aer Lingus, who have sent numerous emails to Swissport at Edinburgh Airport but they are ignored outright. The phones at Swissport remain unanswered at all hours of the day. Their voicemail is full. I have been in touch with Dunedin Couriers which hold the contract for shipping the bags. Though they have been reasonably helpful, they can do nothing without the bag. It’s still stranded in the airport at Edinburgh.”
"Edinburgh Airport, to their credit, has been very responsive. Swissport is impossible to connect with. Dunedin Couriers have also been contacted but claim that they have not received the bag from Swissport.”
Ms Lacey says she is so frustrated she is considering contacting the police. “I don’t know what else I can do. Problems like this are clearly systemic and Swissport can’t just bury their heads in the sand. It’s no way to run a baggage operation. I’ve had baggage delays before for maybe 24 hours but never to this extent. It’s criminal and tantamount to theft now. I just need someone to take responsibility. I hope someone can tell me where my bag is. This has all been made so much worse with the sheer frustration of not being able to contact anyone to take ownership of this situation. It is now beyond the pale.
“I am at my wit's end. I am due to return to Canada in two weeks. The emotional toll is really hard. I had plans for when I was here but I feel I can’t leave the house. There’s no way of knowing when I will get the ashes and my bag back. The reality is after all this time, I might not get it back.”
Swissport and Aer Lingus have been contacted for comment.