Edinburgh Airport baggage delays slammed by luxury hotel chauffeurs hit by hefty parking charges

Drivers say they are regularly waiting over an hour for guests waiting for bags

Chauffeurs picking up overseas guests staying in Scotland’s luxury hotels say they are being hit with hefty parking charges at Edinburgh Airport – because their customers’ baggage is taking hours to arrive.

One driver said he regularly had to wait well over an hour in excess of the usual time allowed for customers to arrive. And Stephen Quinn, assistant transport manager at the five-star Cameron House Resort in Loch Lomond, said his Transatlantic guests were regularly being delayed by chaos in Edinburgh Airport’s baggage handling service.

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Consequently, drivers who have been sent to pick passengers up to transfer them to the hotel are forced to wait in the airport car park – and are hit with high charges on the way out. They are now calling for Scotland’s biggest airport to introduce a system that would exempt chauffeurs from additional fees in the case of delays.

Passengers at Edinburgh Airport have reported baggage problems in recent years.Passengers at Edinburgh Airport have reported baggage problems in recent years.
Passengers at Edinburgh Airport have reported baggage problems in recent years.

Mr Quinn said one of his drivers had picked up an American family from a flight on Saturday who had landed at 11.30am and did not leave the airport until 1.45pm due to baggage delays.

"This meant waiting time for the driver and extra parking,” he said. “You can imagine, if we charged the family an extra £65, they wouldn't be happy. So the drivers are the ones out of pocket, when in reality it's Edinburgh Airport and their handling agents causing the delay.

"It's a constant nightmare for us planning on collecting guests as most drivers will go to the hall to meet guests, but sometimes can be waiting over an hour for them to arrive."

Mr Quinn added: “This really needs sorted ASAP, as [it is] not exactly the first impression we want when welcoming people to Scotland.”

Some passengers have had lengthy waits for their bags.Some passengers have had lengthy waits for their bags.
Some passengers have had lengthy waits for their bags.

Andy Aitken, owner of car firm AA Chauffeur Drive in Auchterarder, who takes visitors to hotels such as Gleneagles and Fonab Castle, said he had been hit with two high parking fees of £15 and £12 due to delays on Tuesday last week alone.

"Edinburgh Airport promised this would not happen again this year,” he said. “We should not have any additional charges for the short comings of the airport. Our additional fees are actually rewarding them for their inefficiencies.”

Mr Aitken, who has been working as a chauffeur picking up from Edinburgh Airport for 39 years, said he previously had been able to pinpoint almost to the minute when customers would pass into arrivals after their plane landed, but in recent years had been unable to do so. He said the parking charges were eating into a large proportion of his drivers’ fees.

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“At the moment, there's no recourse for us to come out and go to the pay stations at the car park and say ‘look, we were held up for luggage’ and get a pass out for the initial £6,” he said. “It really shouldn't be any more than that. I feel there should be something put in place so that all the guys like myself have some sort of way of getting out of that car park not having paid Edinburgh Airport the additional funds they shouldn’t be getting.”

Bags are the responsibility of handling agents on behalf of the airlines, but Edinburgh Airport has stepped in to set up its own operation to get mislaid luggage to passengers more quickly.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said the time any traveller leaves the airport after a flight is dependent on a number of things – not just baggage – including the aircraft taxiing on to stand, disembarking from the plane and passport control.

The spokesman said: “We have regularly explained that the return of baggage is carried out by the handling agent contracted by the airline and that is the case at airports across the UK.

“It's easy to make claims without understanding or referring to the whole arrival process, and arrival arrangements made between companies and their passengers are for a matter for them. Our charging is in line with other UK airports and our commercial transport team is open to conversations with interested parties.”



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