Bags go missing in Eid rush at Abu Dhabi airport

ABU DHABI // Eid travellers flying out of Abu Dhabi have been arriving overseas without their baggage as airlines and airports struggle to cope with the holiday rush. Passengers have complained that their luggage had gone missing and had still not been delivered. L G, who flew from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow, waited in the […]

ABU DHABI // Eid travellers flying out of Abu Dhabi have been arriving overseas without their baggage as airlines and airports struggle to cope with the holiday rush.

Passengers have complained that their luggage had gone missing and had still not been delivered.

L G, who flew from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow, waited in the UK for three days for her luggage to be retrieved.

Compensation of Dh126 from Etihad Airways was not enough for such a long delay, she said.

“There were at least 50 passengers left waiting for their luggage to arrive on the carousel in Heathrow and it never arrived.

“When I arrived at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi at 1am on July 1, I was surprised to see luggage everywhere and trolleys piled high with it all.”

Punit Singh, an Indian who flew from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai on Friday, had still not received one of his bags four days after his flight.

He tried calling Etihad’s baggage help-desk numbers in Mumbai more than 100 times, and emails he sent to Etihad have not been answered.

“It’s not just me – on the same flight, there were at least 20 people waiting to lodge complaints at Mumbai airport,” he said.

“I went to the airport yesterday and there are daily around 400 bags arriving from the earlier flight that they are dispatching through local couriers.

“This is the extent of the issue and I can’t imagine how many more people must be going through this difficulty in their hard-earned annual vacation.”

Another Etihad passenger, who asked not to be identified, flew to Munich on July 1 and was still waiting for luggage on Monday.

“I was told by ground staff that 28 bags had not arrived from that flight and that baggage would arrive with the next flight, roughly six hours later,” the passenger said.

“Three full days and five flights from Abu Dhabi to Munich later, the baggage has still not arrived.”

The passenger was offered Dh146 a day by Etihad for three days to pay for essentials, which can be claimed with receipts.

“Personally I am disappointed as without some of the equipment in my baggage I will have to change my travel plans,” said the passenger.

C B, who flew to Ireland on July 1 to get married, said: “The airport was chaotic, the baggage carousel was broken, so when my fiance and I checked in we had to lift our cases off the carousel and place them in a huge pile of luggage behind us.

“It has now been over three days and Abu Dhabi, Dublin airports and Etihad have not responded to my countless voicemails, Instagram messages, emails or Facebook posts.

“I am incredibly saddened by the whole experience.”

Etihad on Monday apologised to passengers. The airline “is experiencing a number of delays on flights leaving Abu Dhabi Airport, during the start of the busy Eid holiday season”, a spokesman said.

“This year’s peak summer travel period has also seen instances where guests’ baggage has been delayed and Etihad Airways apologises for this unfortunate inconvenience. All efforts will be taken to ensure the baggage is reunited with its owners and additional manpower has been assigned to the airport.”

The spokesman said the airline was carrying about 30,000 passengers and 40,000 pieces of baggage a day through its Abu Dhabi terminal.

The airline advised passengers to check the status of their flight on the Etihad website or call the airline.

anwar@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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