Loganair has launched what it is calling a “targeted baggage task force” to help reunite customers with luggage which has been delayed or lost due to recent disruption.
The Scottish independent carrier said it was sending a team of dedicated employees into “several airports”, in response to “recent travel disruption at major hub airports and partner airlines”.
The staff will help to reunite customers who have arrived at their destinations to find that their bags haven’t travelled with them.
The airline said that “most of the baggage issues affecting Loganair have been caused by staffing and baggage system overloads at hub airports”, stressing that Loganair itself “has a strong track record in terms of baggage handling and recovery, especially at airports where it carries out its own baggage handling in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands”.
The carrier said that it was already seeing a marked reduction in baggage issues and complaints in recent days, adding that it expects the situation to further improve over the coming weeks.
Loganair’s CEO Jonathan Hinkles cited an example where the airline was told that only three bags belonging to customers were awaiting delivery at an undisclosed airport, before a physical search by the task force at that airport “found over 100 more”.
Airports and airlines across the UK and Europe have experienced a raft of issues in recent weeks and months, due to staff shortages and surging demand – Easyjet recently introduced a dedicated team of ‘Helping Hands’ at key UK airports to help ease customer journeys over the peak summer period.
Commenting on the news Jonathan Hinkles, chief executive of Loganair, said:
“Loganair flies lifeline routes and offers essential connectivity across the UK. With that in mind, we couldn’t sit back and watch airport disruption in recent weeks without getting stuck in to find solutions ourselves.
“Our baggage task force has already driven to the hub airports most affected, working through hundreds of bags in secure storage until we locate those belonging to Loganair customers – which we then repatriate to its owner.
“Although we are the UK’s largest regional airline, we’re small enough to be able to do this and it’s important to us that we can support our customers in this way.”
However the carrier also called on “assistance” from its customers, stating that “it has become apparent through work of the task force that several missing baggage cases have arisen because customers on many connecting itineraries are not aware of where they need to collect their bags and re-check them – particularly when international connections involving the need to clear Border Force and Customs on first entry to the UK are involved”.
An example given was a connecting international flight onto a Loganair domestic service at Manchester, where customers must collect their baggage and return to the bag drop desks once they have cleared Customs.
A new page has been created setting out information for transfer customers, detailing whether their bags can be checked through or need to be reclaimed at the hub airport to clear immigration formalities.