Airport suspends customer helpline to protect staff from angry passengers whose luggage is missing

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Edinburgh airport, where workers are increasingly being subjected to abuse from passengers, per a spokesperson.
  • Edinburgh airport says it cut its customer support line over abuse from passengers who lost luggage.
  • Suspending phone lines will protect staff and allow them to work through queries, per the airport.
  • Baggage problems relate to 90% of the customer support team's queries, the airport said.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

A major airport in Scotland has suspended its customer support helpline because of the amount of verbal abuse from angry passengers who have lost their luggage while traveling.

BBC News first reported the story.

"Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the amount of abuse our teams are facing from passengers," a spokesperson for Edinburgh airport, which is located to the west of Scotland's capital city, told Insider.

Around 90% of the problems which the airport's customer support team are handling relate to luggage, the spokesperson said. Airlines and handling agents are responsible for passengers' baggage, not the airport, they added.

"In order to allow our teams to work through a backlog of airport queries, and to protect them from this verbal abuse, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the phone lines," the spokesperson said.

The airport appreciates that air passengers are frustrated, but the abuse is unacceptable and inexcusable, the spokesperson said. Although the phone lines are down, passengers can contact customer support via email or the chatbot on the airport's website, they added.

BBC News reported on July 6 that hundreds of bags belonging to passengers were being held at a warehouse at Edinburgh airport. One passenger told the broadcaster that she spent hours searching for her luggage in the warehouse after her Air Canada flight.

Edinburgh airport's decision to suspend its customer helpline comes at a time when the airline industry is grappling with a surge in summer travel demand as staffing shortages take their toll. Passengers have reported issues with long lines for check-in, problems contacting customer service, and missing luggage.

One American Airlines passenger drove 45 minutes to Denver airport to rebook his plane seats after the customer service helpline left him on hold for almost four hours, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A passenger who lost their baggage said it contained their parents' ashes, while another person whose luggage worth $10,000 went missing had her wedding dress inside.

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