A cruise without clothes, a missing bag and a stolen iPad. Thanks Aer Lingus

Reader query: Aer Lingus ignored me when my bag went missing before cruise


On September 1st John Delaney (not that one) flew to Barcelona full of anticipation for the week-long Mediterranean cruise he was about to embark upon. His bag was checked in with Aer Lingus and all was well in his world.

Then he arrived in the Catalan capital and suddenly all was not well. “I arrived in Barcelona but my bag did not,” he says. “I waited two hours and made a report to the Iberian desk and was given a missing bag tag.”

His cruise ship was due to depart so he had no choice but to leave Barcelona airport without his luggage.

He made phone calls everyday to Aer Lingus to be told one day they had his bag and the next that they did not have his bag. “Each day we were in a different port I had to buy clothes and toiletries as I had nothing and as I was assured my bag would arrive, My bag did not arrive.”

It is worth noting at this point that while he was on a cruise, there were daily stops in towns and cities close to airports served by Aer Lingus so the fact that he was on the high seas should not have been an insurmountable obstacle to the airline if it had tried to get him his bags.

Anyways, he ended up spending €845.19 on the items he needed for his holiday and tells us he has kept all the receipts. “I arrived home Saturday September 9th at 2am and at 2pm the following day I received a text saying my bag would be delivered to my home at 3pm.”

Sadly, the story does not end there. “When I received my bag it was tampered with and there were items missing.”

Specifically some light-fingered ne’r-do-well had made off with his dinner jacket (something many people bring on cruises in case you’re wondering), his iPad, a pair of shoes and his aftershave. All told, the value of the items stolen comes in at around €800.

He immediately reported the theft to Aer Lingus after which it sprang into action, replaced all the stolen items and caught the thief who had rifled through his bag while it was in the airline’s care.

Only joking. Aer Lingus completely ignored his correspondence. And that is why he contacted us and we contacted Aer Lingus. We asked why they had failed so miserably to get his bags to him while he was on the cruise given thought there are are Aer Lingus-serviced airports close to all the stops on the cruise. We also asked about the theft of his belongings while the bag was in the airline’s care. And we highlighted the absence of a satisfactory conclusion to his case.

That is a polite way of saying we asked why the airline had simply ignored him despite the gravity of his complaints.

We got the following statement: “We are sorry to learn of Mr Delaney’s delayed baggage and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this caused. We are concerned to hear that items were missing from his baggage and assure him that this will be internally investigated. When irregularities like this do occur, Aer Lingus’s policy is to reimburse guests for receipted items claimed. Our Guest Relations team are making contact with Mr Delaney to fully resolve the matter.”

While the apology is nice, it would have been nicer if the airline had explained what had gone wrong and why it has been so slow to make amends.