Aer Lingus continuing to deal with lost baggage claims from last summer – The Irish Times

Aer Lingus is still dealing with around one in 100 claims for lost baggage against the airline that date back to last summer, according to the company.

Lost bags were among a series of woes that hit travelers last summer across Europe and North America. Aer Lingus told politicians in July it was at that point dealing with 1,200 mislaid luggage items.

The company confirmed this week that “less than 1 per cent of compensation cases relating to summer are still open, these are under active review by our customer service agents”.

Aer Lingus confirmed that it has paid significant compensation to passengers whose bags were not recovered, but would not reveal the amount.

The carrier added that it continued to improve its processes and procedures.

The airline blamed disruption across the entire air travel industry last year for the problems that have left it still dealing with lost bag claims from summer 2022.

These stemmed from staff shortages in airports and among third-party baggage handling companies, it added.

“Bags being transferred from one airline to another were impacted most by these resourcing challenges around Europe and therefore represented the bulk of bags being delayed or misdirected,” said a statement.

Its chief executive, Lynne Embleton, told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications in July that many of the bags it was attempting to locate had never entered its network, as their owners had transferred from flights with other airlines.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines must pay up to a maximum of around €1,600 for luggage that has not turned up within three weeks of its scheduled arrival date.

If luggage is found after that time, the airline must still return it to its owner, who can also claim under any travel insurance cover they might have.

Chris Bloomer, a US customer whose bag Aer Lingus lost in September, has been seeking extra payment from the carrier over and above the amount he received under the Montreal Convention.

He traveled with a friend from Oregon in the US to Glasgow on flights booked with Delta, the US airline.

At the last minute, Delta changed their itinerary from three flights to five, with the last leg from Belfast to Glasgow, where Mr Bloomer found his bag had not arrived, although his golf equipment had.

According to his wife, Lorilynn Bloomer, the bag’s contents, which included irreplaceable items, were worth $6,000, while he had to spend further cash on necessities in Scotland.

He received $1,646 compensation but is seeking more on the basis of the extra spending in Scotland, and because the couple maintain that staff treated them poorly when they attempted to locate the bag.

Aer Lingus confirmed that it had paid Mr Bloomer the maximum amount due under the Montreal Convention. It added that any issues outside of that would be for the customer and his travel insurer to resolve.

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