Edinburgh Airport baggage disruption: Swissport drafts in 50 extra staff from across UK

Struggling handling agent accused of ‘hiding how bad situation really is’

Under-pressure Edinburgh Airport baggage firm Swissport has drafted in 50 more staff from across the UK to deal with significant luggage disruption at Scotland's busiest air terminal, The Scotsman has learned.

Workers have joined affected passengers in calling for pressure to be put on the world’s biggest airport ground services firm, which is employed by 26 airlines at the airport, to speedily resolve difficulties which have led to bags being mislaid and travellers suffering long delays. It has already been served with a “deficiency notice” by the airport.

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One family praised Swissport staff for tracing their missing luggage after The Scotsman highlighted that it had threatened to force them to cut short a holiday in Rome.

A Swissport insider said understaffing and poor equipment was causing the problems. They said: “Hopefully you can put the pressure on them to act because they are hiding how bad it really is.

“During Covid they got rid of lots of high-skilled, good workers and the turnover of new staff is very high. That combined with a severe lack of equipment that is reliable is the main reason why they are in the mess they are.”

The worker claimed some equipment such as trailers for moving baggage “would get rejected for a scrap yard they’re that bad”. They said around 50 additional staff had been deployed from Swissport bases at airports such as Stansted, Birmingham and Belfast.

Susan Robertson’s family is still waiting for their baggage a week after returning from holiday in Helsinki. She said: “The Swissport service from start to finish was nothing short of shambolic. On our return flight, we were kept on the plane for over an hour after landing as there were no ground staff to attach the steps for disembarking.

"Utter chaos in the baggage reclaim area and no Swissport or other staff anywhere. After a 90-minute wait for our luggage, which never appeared. we had to leave without speaking to any staff directly and just fill in an online form.

"We have done everything we can, including calling and messaging Swissport daily, but are being ignored. The lack of any response is unacceptable and shows a complete disregard for customer service. Our lovely family holiday, the first in five years, has been overshadowed by the stress of not knowing if we’ll ever see our belongings again.”

However, another passenger praised a Swissport worker for arranging for her family’s mislaid bags to be sent to Rome after they faced curtailing their trip because they contained some of her husband’s medicines. She said: “Good news – we have medication. I can’t fault Mark who called from Swissport - a great person for liasing with customers.

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"The staff at Rome Ciampino Airport kept asking if I knew what was wrong at Edinburgh as they’ve had massive problems both in terms of passengers’ luggage coming through and communication when trying to trace it.”

A Swissport spokesperson said: “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. We sincerely apologise for any passengers experiencing delays and recognise how frustrating this is. We continue to work to improve turnaround times."



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