Nurse faces financial crisis over 'essential' lost luggage

A family facing ‘financial ruin’ from the cost-of-living crisis has been fighting for 24 days to find ‘essential’ lost luggage after flying with Aer Lingus.

Mother-of-two Sonia Matthew, 37, is just one of thousands of passengers who have endured a nightmare trying to reclaim lost luggage from Aer Lingus in recent months.

More than 5,000 people have joined a new Aer Lingus Complaints Action Group on Facebook to highlight the problem.

nurse faces financial crisis over 'essential' lost luggage

A family facing ‘financial ruin’ from the cost-of-living crisis has been fighting for 24 days to find ‘essential’ lost luggage after flying with Aer Lingus. Pic: GB-Photographie/Shutterstock

For many, their frustration has been exacerbated by the airline’s failure to communicate with them, calling attempts to get their belongings back a ‘full-time job’.

Ms Matthew, from Kerala, India, flew from Cochin to Dublin, via Munich, with Aer Lingus on July 19. Travelling with her husband and two young children, Ms Matthew and her family checked in eight bags, a two-piece stroller and a car seat, all of which never arrived at Dublin Airport.

Ms Matthew has ‘no income’ and lives in a rented Dublin house, where she was working as a staff nurse in a private nursing home, before taking maternity leave.

nurse faces financial crisis over 'essential' lost luggage

Sonia Matthew, right, with her husband and children.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mail, she said: ‘Really, we are in financial crisis. I don’t have any income and my husband is getting less payment. Our suitcases had all the necessary items, including our children’s clothes and food.’

With incomes squeezed and rent prices and daily essentials rocketing in price, Ms Matthew and her husband cannot afford to re-purchase all the missing items.

She said: ‘We’ve also lost lots of daily medicines for me, my kids and my husband – among lots of vessels, dresses, watches, jackets, footwear, baby-milk preparation machines and photo albums of my younger child’s baptism, which cost €490. Really, we are tired and fed up.’

Ms Matthew said she and her husband have spent weeks trying to reclaim the family’s lost luggage, so far without any luck.

She said: ‘We reported the lost bags on arrival. Every day we are calling and updating Aer Lingus and according to them, they still can’t trace our bags.

nurse faces financial crisis over 'essential' lost luggage

More than 5,000 people have joined a new Aer Lingus Complaints Action Group on Facebook to highlight the problem. Pic: Croatorum/Shutterstock

‘We are begging for their help because we are in urgent need of a car seat for our baby and it’s too much to buy it again at this time.’

Meanwhile, other passengers are also struggling to afford the luggage Aer Lingus lost.

Following queries to affected Aer Lingus passengers, the Mail received a large volume of emails from people who wanted to share their experiences.

Karen Stanway flew from Manchester to Dublin with Aer Lingus on July 24. Her bag never arrived and is still missing.

Ms Stanway told the Mail: ‘When arriving at Dublin and waiting at baggage reclaim, my husband’s luggage came out but mine didn’t. No one would speak to us and expected us to use a machine.

‘We then had to go on a mad dash shopping spree as I had nothing – no clothes, only the clothes I had arrived in. I will be claiming for this unexpected expense on the online claim form. No doubt this will not be answered or acknowledged. My concern in that some two weeks later, my bag has still not been delivered.’

Aer Lingus has been approached for comment.

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