Edinburgh Airport arrivals chaos continues as piles of luggage left abandoned in terminal
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Frustrated flyers who have been forced to dodge piles of abandoned suitcases at Edinburgh Airport have been left ‘staggered’ by announcements asking visitors not to leave bags unattended.
Scotland’s busiest airport has been ‘flooded’ with unclaimed luggage in recent weeks, due to delays and staff shortages with baggage handler Swissport. Affected travellers have been forced to leave the airport without their belongings, with others left to sift through mounting piles of suitcases which have been left inside the airport.
Swissport, which is responsible for the baggage of 26 airlines in the Capital, is understood to be having problems hiring staff and is short of equipment, such as luggage crates and trailers which are used to move bags between the terminal and the planes.
Stephen McLaughlin, who was forced to travel back and forth from his home in South Lanarkshire three times to retrieve his four suitcases after a family holiday to Orlando in Florida, described the situation as ‘unacceptable’.
"We got our bags back after five days but the really frustrating thing was that three out of the four bags had been in the airport that whole time, but no one could tell us where they actually were,” said the 55-year-old. “There are literally piles and piles of unattended luggage sitting where anyone could walk in and take them. People could pick stuff up, take it and no one would know it wasn’t their bags. It’s ridiculous, it’s unacceptable.”
He said it was ‘staggering’ that piles of luggage were allowed to be left unattended despite posing an obvious security risk. “You could put something alongside the luggage or even inside one of the bags and no one would know. I just find it staggering,” he said. “The ironic thing is that they are playing messages over the tannoy saying ‘please don’t leave bags unattended’ but all the while, you are surrounded by piles and piles of luggage. It’s really poor.”
And the father-of-two’s frustration increased today, after his 19-year-old son waited more than two hours – almost as long as he’d spent on a flight back from Palma with his friends – for luggage to be unloaded from the plane.
"Thankfully he and his friends are getting a minibus back, because there must be people who have spent a fortune in airport parking having to wait on people coming out,” said Stephen. “There must be lots of people travelling into Edinburgh for their holidays and for the Fringe, and it really isn’t a great first impression.”
And while he praised airport staff, Stephen said he would be cutting ties with Edinburgh Airport until the problem is solved. “I do a lot of travel with business and until I know this is being improved upon, if I can avoid using Edinburgh in the future I’m going to do that. Everybody at the airport we spoke to was helpful and friendly enough but they were just caught up in the process.“It’s not that they wouldn’t help, it’s that whatever systems are in place are so broken that they can’t help us.”
Swissport and Edinburgh Airport have been approached for comment.