Baggage reclaim at Scottish airports criticised

DELAYS suffered by passengers waiting for luggage at two of Scotland’s busiest airports are criticised today by consumer watchdog Which?.

Smaller airports handle baggage more quickly and efficiently. Picture: Getty
Smaller airports handle baggage more quickly and efficiently. Picture: Getty

Glasgow and Aberdeen were given only two out of five stars for baggage reclaim in the annual passenger survey by the watchdog.

Which? placed Glasgow as ninth-best large UK airport overall with a score of 57 per cent – two points lower than last year.

In the same category, Edinburgh came fourth-equal among 20 terminals with 63 per cent – the same as last year – behind Newcastle, Birmingham and Heathrow’s terminal five.

Aberdeen came 13th of 15 small airports with 57 per cent, one point below Prestwick, which improved by four points on 2013.

The north-east airport also scored only two stars for seating provision and food outlets.

Scotland’s best airport among the four surveyed was Inverness for a second year, with 78 per cent – ten points better than in 2013. It was fifth overall behind Southend, Doncaster Sheffield, Blackpool and London City.

The overall ratings also covered pick-up and drop-off points, and queues for security and passport checks, which were assessed by 7,000 Which? 

The magazine said waiting to reclaim baggage was found to be passengers’ main gripe following the launch of its “stop the holiday hassles” campaign last month.

Which? said large airports performed particularly badly on this, with 14 of the 20 surveyed scoring only two stars.

However, Aberdeen was one of two small airports, along with Belfast City, to also get two stars.

Which? executive director 
Richard Lloyd, said: “The message from travellers is clear – larger airports continue to let people down on the basics, from baggage reclaim to food outlets. People deserve an enjoyable break without any stress, so we want to hear from consumers so we can help to stop the holiday hassles.”

Aberdeen airport handled nearly 3.7 million passengers in the year to last month – 7 per cent more than the previous 12 months.

Its spokeswoman said: “In recent months and years, we have seen unprecedented growth.

“With this growth comes some operational challenges which the team here are aware of, and work to address those issues is already under way.

Inverness airport, which is run by Scottish Government-owned Highlands and Islands Airports, said it would strive to ensure forecast growth did not affect passenger satisfaction.

Airport general manager Graeme Bell said: “This survey certainly proves the old adage that small is beautiful.”

A Glasgow airport spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed by this survey’s findings on baggage as they do not concur with our own internal measurements, which show that over the past year more than 90 per cent of bags were delivered on time, in line with airline