A university lecturer has spoken of her frustration after her luggage was lost following the chaos at Manchester Airport on Wednesday.
Clare Jenkins was looking forward to spending a fortnight in Orkney celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary with her husband Steve – but instead they found themselves in the Northern Isles two days later with no clue when they’d be reunited with their belongings.
Terminal 3 was evacuated on Wednesday morning following a security alert sparked by a suspicious package.
A controlled explosion was carried out on the bag, and ten hours of disruption, cancellations, and delays followed, with the evacuation causing a knock on effect to subsequent flights.
Following further inspections by police, the package was not believed to contain anything suspicious, GMP confirmed.
Clare, who lectures at Sheffield Hallam University, flew with Flybe and said the airline still haven’t given her any information about where her bags are, which contain all her essentials like clothes and toiletries as well as binoculars, radio, walking shoes and maps.
The lecturer was due to fly up to Orkney via Aberdeen at 12.30pm on Wednesday, but her flight was delayed by three hours, and she said she missed it as the couple were not given any information about the flight. She found out the flight had departed when she contacted the airline on Twitter.
The replacement flight at 6.40pm was then cancelled, and Clare said it was just through sheer perseverance that they managed to bag a space on another flight.
She described her experience at the airport as ‘chaotic’.
Clare’s main frustration lies in what she sees as a lack of communication during the entire ordeal – she has no idea when she will be reunited with her luggage, and feels that the buck keeps getting passed between the organisations involved.
She said: “I haven’t got a number to ring about our bags, nobody has been in touch. We have no idea where are luggage is.
“I wish somebody could give us further information. My major issue is that there didn’t seem to be a proper system in place. I cannot believe how we are being given the run-around.”
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “During Wednesday’s evacuation the airport issued a constant stream of information to passengers through a variety of avenues including customer services staff on the ground, our website, traditional media outlets and our social channels. Plus non customer services staff volunteered to walk up and down the queues giving passengers information and water whilst they waited.Manchester Airport lost and found
“We also worked with our partners to ensure we had the information they were communicating about their operations, such as their delays and cancellations.
“Throughout the evacuation we updated on specific flights, which airlines told us were likely to be cancelled or moved to a different terminal. Manchester Airport lost property
“As always the safety and security of all of our passengers is of the upmost importance and we apologise to any caught up in Wednesday’s evacuation.”
A Flybe spokesperson said: “Flybe sincerely regrets the disruption experienced by our customers as a result of the evacuation of Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport earlier this week.
“Flybe is one of many airlines whose customers’ baggage is part of the current backlog and we would like to assure Ms Jenkins that we are working as a matter of urgency with the ground handling teams at the airport to ensure that she is reunited with her luggage as soon as is possible.
“In the interim, progress can be tracked via the following link: http://www.flybe.com/baggage/delayed-baggage.htm .
“Again, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that has resulted following a situation that was entirely out of our control.
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