Edinburgh Airport bosses draft in couriers to tackle baggage chaos as passengers report delays of up to two weeks

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One passenger who was left without his luggage for two weeks branded the situation a ‘shambles’.

Bosses at Edinburgh Airport have brought in specialist couriers to help tackle ongoing problems with luggage, as some passengers face delays of up to two weeks getting their bags.

The terminal has been ‘flooded’ with piles of unclaimed luggage for days, as persistent delays see passengers forced to go home without their items. Many have taken to social media to complain about Scotland’s busiest airport being full of stranded baggage.

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The airport, which is not responsible for baggage handling, has drafted in a company to help unite travellers with their bags. Bosses said they are doing all they can to support baggage handlers, amid reports of staff shortages. But passengers described the situation as ‘dire’ and called for baggage handlers Swissport to take urgent action. One claimed that contacting them for help to retrieve luggage was ‘nearly impossible’.

'Mountains' of bags abandoned at Edinburgh airport'Mountains' of bags abandoned at Edinburgh airport
'Mountains' of bags abandoned at Edinburgh airport

Craig Lightbody has travelled back to the airport several times in two weeks since arriving back from his family holiday. Mr Lightbody, an accountant, has taken days off work and even paid for a ticket for a flight just to get through to access arrivals in the desperate hope of retrieving his luggage.

He said: “There’s mountains of bags, tonnes just piled around. The day I arrived in Edinburgh after our holiday there was nobody at the desks helping with international arrivals. I saw people who had tried for days to speak to a member of staff but there was either nobody around or they couldn’t get an answer.

"I’ve been to the airport several times, forked out for tram tickets, parking and spent hours getting nowhere. I bought a ticket to Cork so I could get through and look for my bags but I could only get into domestic not international. I stood around just in hopes of speaking to a member of staff. It’s a disaster. A QR code and online form gets no response. On Monday I left hacked off after five hours. At one point I considered just refusing to leave until I got my bags.”

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He added: “They did say there was a backlog. But I only got a response because I kept turning up at the airport and pushing to talk to someone. I finally got my luggage on Tuesday, after more than two weeks. I have travelled a lot and that's the worst I’ve seen. They need to sort out their systems, it’s a shambles.”

Some holidaymakers have reported flying back without their luggage, after being in the Capital for a week.

One man from Edinburgh waited over a week to get his luggage back, which contained items he needed for work. “I am one of the many who have fallen victim to the mishandling of luggage by Swissport at the airport. Moreover, the issue exacerbates as attempting to contact Swissport proves to be nearly impossible. Emails remain unanswered, and phone calls go unanswered, leaving customers with no means of communication. The only recourse is to physically visit the airport, where countless others await in the same predicament.“It has taken over a week since arrival in Edinburgh to get my luggage back. It had essential work-related clothes in it, which I needed for an imminent job assignment. The situation has turned dire, and airport personnel divert everyone to contact either the airline or Swissport, resulting in a perpetual cycle of frustration and futility. Action needs to be taken to address the systemic issues concerning lost luggage at Edinburgh Airport.”

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said: "The transportation, delivery and secure storage of luggage is the role of handling agent companies which are contracted by airlines. Our expectation of handling agents is that they should ensure desks passengers use to directly log luggage issues are staffed.

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“As an airport we will continue to support our partners where we can, and this includes by sourcing and providing additional resource for them.”

Swissport said delays could be caused by other factors, such as flight delays. A spokesperson for Swissport said: “We know how important travel is at this time and we are sorry for our part in the disruption some people have experienced with baggage at Edinburgh Airport. Our teams are working hard and we’re doing everything we can to support them and reunite passengers with delayed luggage.”

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