Eoghan Corry: Why it could be another summer of lost luggage

"Somebody has to do this by hand at the end of the day - no matter how marvelous the technology you have"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.33 30 Jan 2023

Share this article

Eoghan Corry: Why it could be...

Eoghan Corry: Why it could be another summer of lost luggage

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.33 30 Jan 2023

Share this article

Airports around Europe could be set for more baggage chaos this year, travel expert Eoghan Corry has warned.

He said some of the key hubs on the continent - such as Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and London's Heathrow Airport - are already struggling.

It comes as Aer Lingus is said to still be dealing with close to 100 claims for lost baggage that date back to last summer.


People queue at Dublin Airport in June 2022. People queue at Dublin Airport in June 2022. Picture by: PA Images/Alamy

Eoghan told The Pat Kenny Show it all comes down to manpower.

"It's going to very, very hard to read the summer," he said.

"We've seen some of the airports with difficulties staffing back up to the levels that they had pre-pandemic.

"Dublin Airport [is] pretty much on the way; the baggage hall seems to be staffed up to levels that would mean that there wouldn't be any local problems.

"You've got to remember that 80% of the problems in Dublin this summer happened elsewhere.

"A lot of planes arrived without the bags that were supposed to be on them.

"We're really dealing with two or three major hubs: Heathrow and Amsterdam are the major offenders."

'9,000 bags never landed in Dublin'

Eoghan said the onus is on the airline you land with, using Aer Lingus as an example.

"It's Aer Lingus' problem, it's Aer Lingus' job to track it, find it and deliver it to you," he said.

"Most of the bags get delivered... the average wait time for a lost bag has come back down under 48 hours.

"They have 11,500 lost bags last summer at Aer Lingus alone, and they reckon that more than 9,000 of those never landed in Dublin.

"It's still their responsibility to get them to where they were... all but about 100 were eventually located and delivered.

"That's where we are now - but next summer, KLM's major hub Amsterdam is already straining, and they're talking about not being able to deliver the services that they did pre-pandemic".

'Your bag isn't coming into the terminal'

He said the technology can falter when there is a lot of traffic.

"Congestion puts that under a lot of pressure," he said.

"You've got to remember: your bag isn't coming into the terminal.

"It's coming off one aircraft, on to a truck, and being brought and loaded on to several different aircraft.

"All working, scanning, people able to locate a bag... and then came COVID.

Passengers' hand luggage is deposited in plastic tubs at Frankfurt Airport's passenger screening area. Picture by: Arne Dedert/DPA/PA Images

"People realised that technology is all very well, but you still need a few burly gentlemen - it's usually gentlemen - to actually do the loading and the unloading.

"They were in increible shortly supply. We had situations where captains were being told, 'We can get your bags onboard, but you have to wait for five hours' and they just decided to take off without any of the passenger’s bags.

"This is the sort of scenario we met last summer... with most of the problems originating off the island.

"I'm not sure we'll have a perfect summer [but] we'll have a better summer than last year.

"We're really not in a position to say, confidently, that we won't have the same problem with bags.

"Technology moved on, but someone forgot along the way... somebody has to do this by hand at the end of the day - no matter how marvellous the technology you have," he added.

Main image: A wheeled suitcase on a luggage belt at an airport terminal. Picture by: catwalkphotos / Alamy Stock Photo

Share this article

Read more about

Aer Lingus Air Travel Baggage Handlers Covid Dublin Airport Eoghan Corry Heathrow Airport Lost Luggage Schiphol Airport Summer The Pat Kenny Show Travel

Most Popular