Jamie Skorczweski said the baggage blunder after the family’s flight from Manchester Airport ruined Christmas for his son who was left without presents, medication or even his clothes to wear
A family whose luggage went missing following a flight to Manchester airport say they received their damaged bags a week later with items missing and presents unwrapped.
Jamie Skorczewski was among hundreds of passengers whose luggage went astray over the festive period after a baggage blunder by British Airways, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Skorczewski family were forced to spend Christmas without presents, clothes or medication while they waited six days for their cases to be returned – only to discover one bag had even been damaged beyond repair.
Flying from San Diego for a long-awaited reunion with family members in the UK, the nightmare journey started with a two-hour delay during the Heathrow-Manchester leg of the flight.
When they got to the arrivals section of the final airport to collect their luggage, they were met with an empty carousel but could see piles of luggage being trundled out from earlier flights.
Jamie said that he and 200 other passengers including babies and elderly people were forced to wait two hours before a BA staff member came out with forms for them to report their baggage.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Jamie said: “We had no clothes except for those we had travelled in for that period time and eventually had to buy some.
“My son was left very disappointed on Christmas day. Like every little boy at Christmas, he wrote a list.
“We, his parents, were the only members of the family to buy him items on his list and they were all in our suitcases.
“So Christmas Day was not the best for him and the magic of Christmas finally ruined as we had to explain everything to him.”
When their bags were returned, the family discovered the presents had been unwrapped, two bottles of wine had been stolen and one suitcase was irreparably damaged.
“All the gifts had also been unwrapped and 2 bottles of wine had been stolen,” said Jamie.
“One of our suitcases was totally destroyed – I don’t know if BA will cover that.”
Jamie says the fiasco was complicated by the involvement of four companies in tracking their bags.
BA had contracted Global Baggage Solutions to fly the bags from Heathrow to Manchester, but despite many calls and messages, Jamie claims they failed to get back to the family.
Jamie travelled back to the airport on December 22 and found the only way to contact them was through the customer telephone at the information desk in Terminal One.
During that call, Jamie says he was informed they didn’t have the bags – but then found out 30 minutes later from BA that they did.
Despite this, the firm then held on to them for two days before passing them on to another contractor.
Jamie was told they would be delivered to his home address but when they didn’t arrive he returned to the airport on Christmas Eve and tried the terminal phone again.
Passed on to the new firm, he managed to get through after repeated calls.
Jamie added: “I begged them to let me come and collect my baggage. I was informed that it was not possible as they had closed.
“I explained that all my son’s Christmas presents were in there and all my son’s clothes. They didn’t care.”
On December 27, the third-party firm contracted a courier firm to deliver the luggage – but there was no way to contact them to arrange a time more suitable than 3.30pm so Jamie had to leave his father’s 80th birthday event to wait for the luggage at home.
He added: “I had called to see if there was anything they could do but was told really coldly that they would be returned to the depot again if I wasn’t there and I’d have to wait for another slot.
“What’s annoyed me the most in all of this is the lies, misinformation and the lack of available information or anyone to contact.
“It ruined our Christmas, especially for our son, and interrupted my fathers 80th birthday event.
“We paid so much money for our tickets as well, around $3200 for myself and my son, only to end up squashed shoulder to shoulder in a packed economy section.
“We were literally wedged in. So much for social distancing.”
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Each airline appoints its own baggage handler and Manchester Airport have said they are not involved in luggage logistics.
Global Baggage Solutions referred to BA for comment.
BA said customers can be reimbursed for the cost of essential items when they were without their baggage and claim for any damaged or missing contents.
A spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly to customers who had their baggage delayed over the Christmas period after arriving in Manchester.
“It’s clear that our service and communications fell short on this occasion and we’re taking the necessary steps with our third-party handlers and couriers to ensure we avoid a similar situation in future.”