‘Atrocious service’ from Aer Lingus leaves reader fuming

Bags go walkabout for days and customer says she was given no concrete information

Passenger reported his missing bag and was given a reference number and told to track the bag online. Photograph: iStock

Passenger reported his missing bag and was given a reference number and told to track the bag online. Photograph: iStock

 

A reader by the name of Margaret’s 20-year-old son travelled to Canada on June 8th on what was his first extended trip away from home but things did not go smoothly.

He flew from Dublin to Gatwick and then on to Vancouver, Margaret says and while he arrived safely, his bag did not. In fact it did not even make it as far as Gatwick.

“I think the reason why his bag did not get on the Aer Lingus flight from Dublin was because when he was queueing to check-in somebody told the people in his queue that all those going to Gatwick or Heathrow should move over to another check-in desk so he went from being at the top of the queue to the bottom of the queue - thus not giving much time for the bag to get to the plane,” Margaret says.

He reported his missing bag and was given a reference number and told to track the bag online. He was told he would probably have it back in 72 hours. “He checked online over the next couple of days but no luck. We were also checking on this end,” she writes. “I rang Aer Lingus as it would be too expensive for him to ring from Vancouver as you could be on hold for a long time.”

She rang on a Monday and was told the bag had been found despite the online tracking saying it was still searching for the bag. “We were delighted and he waited to be contacted to say his bag would be delivered. No such contact was made.”

She phoned Aer Lingus again on the Tuesday and explained that the bag had been found but no contact had been made with her son. She asked what they needed to do now. “The girl I spoke to said she would send emails to Menzies Courier Service in Gatwick - who handle baggage for Aer Lingus - and to Vancouver Airport,” Margaret says.

Still her son heard nothing.

At this stage he was five days without any clothes, toiletries, a sleeping bag - anything at all. On the Wednesday Margaret rang Aer Lingus again and was cut off while on hold on three separate occasions. She eventually got through and explained the whole situation again and again said her son had absolutely none of his stuff. Again she was told emails would be sent.

“I asked if a call could be made to follow up on the bag but I was told that was not how the system worked. I asked could speak to supervisor but was informed that it would make no difference. I asked did they not follow up the emails sent and again I was told that not how it works.”

By now Margaret was “very frustrated”.

We’d be fit to explode, to be honest.

“The guy I was speaking to gave me the number of Menzies Couriers in Gatwick, the courier service Aer Lingus use to forward lost/delayed luggage,” she continues.

She rang them and a “very helpful lady could immediately tell me the bag had gone to Vancouver on June 9th. She gave me phone number for Vancouver Airport. She also explained that after five days the baggage was no longer the courier’s responsibility and I would have to contact the airline. I rang Aer Lingus again. I was put on hold again and then told they would send more emails. I said I couldn’t believe that my son’s bag was sitting in Vancouver for days and he had not been contacted to arrange delivery. “

She was told Aer Lingus would send even more emails and hopefully this would resolve the situation. “I told them that I thought it was appalling that nobody would help me get my son’s bag to him and that he had been without clothes for six days. The girl told me she understood my frustration but could do no more.”

Margaret then rang Vancouver Airport directly and got through very quickly. She was told the airport had no authority over baggage and was put through to West Jet “which was the airline my son flew with and which transported the bag to Vancouver. The man I spoke to was very sympathetic and helpful. He located the bag immediately, rang back to Vancouver Airport to confirm its location of bag. He gave me a phone number for my son to ring directly to baggage services and a reference number for him to collect bag. He even told me the best way for my son to get to the airport. This took all of 10 minutes,” Margaret says.

“I must have made 10 calls to Aer Lingus and was given no concrete information. Why should I have had to ring Vancouver Airport or Menzies Vouriers. My son travelled to the airport to collect the bag himself. He had to get taxi there and back. He filled out a claims form but up until this week (nearly a month on) has had no response from Aer Lingus. He was not offered/given funds to help him purchase basic necessitates for the days he was without his belongings. Is it just me or is this atrocious service?”

It’s not just you Margaret.

We contacted Aer Lingus received the following statement. “We sincerely apologise to [Margaret’s son] for the inconvenience caused. Our Guest Relations team have made contact with him and will reimburse him for any interim expenses he may have incurred during the days he was without his baggage.”

She did not explain why the airline had got things so badly wrong.