Passenger who criticised Edinburgh baggage firm Menzies Aviation has case mislaid for second time

A university professor who accused Edinburgh-based baggage firm Menzies Aviation of being a “disgrace to the nation” over its treatment of passengers with missing luggage has had his bag mislaid for a second time – on the return leg of the same trip.

Alan Torrance, of the University of St Andrews, said hehad to wait ten days for his bag to be returned in July after flying into Edinburgh with British Airways from Miami via Heathrow, despite the airline informing him it had arrived at the airport on a later flight the same day.

Three weeks ago, the emeritus professor of the school of divinity flew back to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, where his wife is a teacher, but is still waiting for his bag to arrive.

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Torrance had accused Menzies Aviation – BA’s handling agents – of “astonishing behaviour”, telling The Scotsman he had been “utterly shocked” at seeing distraught tourists trying to find their bags at Edinburgh Airport.

Professor Alan Torrance has been waiting more than three weeks for his bag containing £2,500 worth of fishing equipment to be returned.
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He said the “baggage chaos” caused by the company was “destroying the holidays of tourists to Scotland and is a disgrace to this country”.

Menzies Aviation said it been unable to find Torrance’s bag.

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Torrance said of his bag going missing again: “When BA investigated, I was informed that, extraordinarily, my bag had been checked in at Edinburgh Airport, but there was no record of it having been put on the plane.”

He added: "As things stand, I have a bag with approaching £2,500 worth of fishing equipment ‘missing’ and apparently still in Edinburgh Airport.

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Menzies Aviation said up to 3,000 bags had piled up at Edinburgh Airport this summer. Picture: Fraser Mackenzie

"I have also spent dozens of stressful hours trying to find ways of locating it.”

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A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “We speak to handling agents every day to understand their issues and where we can support, and we provided assistance where and when we could during the summer.

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"However, the safe and timely return of baggage is ultimately the responsibility of airlines and their contracted handling agents.”

In July, Menzies Aviation offered a “whole-hearted apology” to passengers for the baggage chaos, which it admitted had been "off the scale".

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Corporate affairs director John Geddes said luggage arriving late on connecting flights from hub airports like Heathrow and staff shortages had put it under “immense pressure”.

Mr Geddes said in July: "If I was a consumer coming through the airport, I would absolutely understand the frustrations, and where we and the industry could have done better.”

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The company has now said its luggage backlog at the airport has been cleared and a temporary storage base at the nearby Royal Highland Centre had closed.

Its spokesperson said: “The baggage situation at Edinburgh Airport has now eased, such that Menzies has returned to business as usual.

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“With no need for contingency facilities, all operations are taking place within the airport once more.”

But it added: “We have checked the very few remaining unaccompanied bags at Edinburgh Airport, as well as our baggage tracking system, and unfortunately in this instance it has not been possible to locate this passenger’s bag.

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"We sincerely apologise, as we understand the distress missing luggage can cause.”



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