Edinburgh Airport baggage disruption: Passengers facing ruined or cut-short trips, as woman loses possessions from recently-deceased father

Anger at handling agents Swissport and Menzies Aviation

Baggage firms at Edinburgh Airport were facing mounting anger from passengers this weekend, including from a woman who lost treasured possessions from her recently-deceased father and a family faced with cutting short a holiday in Italy because of missing medication.

It comes as Swissport, the worst-affected handling agent, was believed to have drafted in dozens of extra staff from other airports after it was served with a “yellow card” deficiency notice by Edinburgh Airport chiefs. The firm is responsible for luggage for 26 airlines at the airport, including Ryanair, which accounts for one in three of Edinburgh’s passengers.

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Cheryl Mcmillan said she had flown back to Brazil from Edinburgh with Air France last week after her father died during her visit, but was told three bags of his “sentimental items” had not left Edinburgh. She said: “No bags made it. No update at all from any side. Swissport won't let anyone know anything. Devastating.”

Baggage piling up at Edinburgh Airport on Wednesday. Picture: Karen McAvoyBaggage piling up at Edinburgh Airport on Wednesday. Picture: Karen McAvoy
Baggage piling up at Edinburgh Airport on Wednesday. Picture: Karen McAvoy

A family who flew from Edinburgh to Rome with Ryanair on Wednesday said they may have to return early after their four bags failed to arrive. One said: “Totally frustrated. While we did carry some medication in hand luggage, the majority for my husband is in the cases.

"Quite desperate now as zero means to contact any people on the ground directly. It’s really ruining the trip and we are thinking we’ll need to cut it short and head home. It’s quite startling that there must be thousands of pounds worth of people’s luggage being held with seemingly zero personnel or means to attempt tracing.”

Karen McAvoy, who returned to Edinburgh with Ryanair from Malaga on Wednesday, had to wait more than two hours to retrieve her bags. She said: “Chaotic scenes at Edinburgh airport. We could not believe this was the service in Scotland’s capital city’s airport – very embarrassing.

“There was luggage ‘stored’ randomly everywhere, in the baggage area and beyond, meaning no security at all. We were told sometimes it takes four hours for luggage to come through due to staff shortages.”

A Swedish hiker said a planned weekend trip to walk part of the West Highland Way with a friend was ruined after their bags containing camping equipment failed to arrive at the airport last Friday and have been missing since, despite repeated calls to British Airways and its Edinburgh handling agent Menzies Aviation.

Fredrik Lindberg said: “I will never risk going back with checked baggage ever again and I will tell all my friends that it's not worth the risk.”

A Swissport spokesperson: “We’re sorry to hear about these passengers’ experiences and are looking into what’s happened here, so that we can reunite them with their luggage as quickly as possible.”

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Phil Lloyd, senior vice-president UK & Ireland for Menzies Aviation, said: “We are striving to uphold our high service standards for our airline customers and their passengers and we would like to apologise to Fredrik and his friend for their experience.

"Edinburgh Airport is currently experiencing an increase in unaccompanied baggage arriving on flights from other airports, which, by default, becomes the responsibility of ground handlers. We understand the distress and frustration this can cause passengers and we are working hard to minimise the impact baggage delays have on people.”



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