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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Passenger's anger at baggage woes
Sarah Ewing
Sarah Ewing's suitcase has gone missing eight times
A woman has vowed to use couriers to transport her luggage when she takes a flight after her baggage was lost during her last eight trips.

Freelance journalist Sarah Ewing, 31, of Newington, Edinburgh, has even given up travel writing due to the problem.

In the most recent case Ms Ewing's suitcase went missing for seven days before it appeared at Heathrow and was transported to Edinburgh Airport.

The Airport Operators Association said airlines were responsible for baggage.

Sarah Ewing
I will never put my luggage in the hold of a plane again
Sarah Ewing

Ms Ewing said she had been left feeling "very annoyed" after the latest lost baggage problem this month because it hindered her work.

She said: "My bag was full of interview transcripts, which meant I was unable to write a couple of pieces which were due on my return to Edinburgh.

"Also there was daily medication, which I needed. I spent two days on the phone to the number they give you when your bag is lost without getting through, and I work from home so I could spend hours hitting the redial button.

"At one point later in the week I was told there was a huge backlog at Heathrow, where I had travelled to from Montreal. I was told there were 40 vans with about 200 bags in each."

Ms Ewing was left without her baggage for two days after a trip last year which brought her back to Edinburgh shortly after Christmas 2005.

'No stamina left'

She said: "It was awful because they called to say my bags would appear at my house at 2230 BST on Hogmanay so I had to cancel my trip to Newcastle and sit on my own on New Year's Eve.

"I've been on at least six trips before that where there has been at least a 36-hour delay in returning my bags, so I've now just had enough.

"I've stopped travel writing because I just don't have the stamina to fight with airlines every time and I've asked my parents who live in Canada to come to me for Christmas instead.

"I will never put my luggage in the hold of a plane again, so if I have more than hand luggage I will send it over in advance using a flight courier, which although adds about 150 to the cost of the trip means it saves time and sanity."

Chris Goater, Airport Operators Association spokesman, said: "I'm sure we have all had baggage lost, myself included. I am very sympathetic to this woman who has obviously been very unfortunate to have so many cases of lost luggage.

"Airports are not responsible for controlling baggage handling but instead the airlines have various service providers.

"Unfortunately its all very complicated but in most cases its unlikely to be the airport's fault."


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