Nigerian Luggage Still Missing 3 Weeks After Boarding Turkish Airline’s Lagos-Birmingham Flight

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Simbiat Abdulmalik (not real name), a Lagos resident, has accused Turkish Airlines of misplacing one of her bags she checked in at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, while travelling to the United Kingdom on September 18.

One of the bags here is missing.

Abdulmalik told FIJ that she checked in three bags with the airline prior to her Lagos-Birmingham trip, but was only able to retrieve two when she arrived at her destination.

She said it took the airline many days before the two bags could be returned to her.

She also added that she had planned on travelling on board the plane with the particular bag that was yet to be found, but was forced to check it in alongside her weightier bags by the airline’s officials.

The flight was then delayed for close to two hours, forcing her to miss a connecting flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to the United Kingdom.

“I boarded Turkish Airlines on Sunday, September 18, 2022. It was supposed to leave Nigeria at 8:45pm, but due to a delay, we left Nigeria some minutes after 10pm,” Abdulmalik said.

“During check-in, my hand luggage was tagged. It was not supposed to be tagged, but I guess because it was a bit heavy, they tagged it. They said I could not go into the plane with it, so I left it with them.

“We were supposed to have a 140-minute stopover at Istanbul, Turkey, before continuing the journey to Birmingham, England, but in the end, we could not.

“This was because the take-off from Lagos had been delayed by two hours. So, by the time I checked in at the airport in Istanbul, I realised a number of passengers from the same Turkish Airline plane, including myself, had missed the connecting flight that would take us to Birmingham.”

She said she later learnt from the Turkish Airlines help desk that over 25 people had missed the connecting flight.

After faulting her and other passengers for missing the flight, the officials later assured her that her baggage would be transferred to a Tunis Air plane, the airline she eventually decided to fly with to complete her journey.

After purchasing the Tunis Air flight ticket, she was again told at the Tunis Air help desk that their flight was only going to be able to carry two out of the three bags she had with Turkish Airlines. Tunis Air also added that the two bags would be dropped off at Heathrow Airport, London, instead of Birmingham.

Turkish Airline on the other hand, agreed to transport the outstanding hand luggage to Birmingham.

“I then consented to the agreement,” she said. “However, when I got to Heathrow, I proceeded to the Tunis Air terminal so I could claim my bags but shockingly, they were nowhere to be found.

“So, I went to their help desk to lodge a complaint. They gave me a reference number and phone number to call if I did not get my bags in two days.

“After I got to my destination on September 20, I decided to call the airline two days later, when I still did not get my bags as promised by the airline. I called several times but did not get any response.

“On Tuesday, September 27, I got the first bag. The bag had three to four tags that did not correspond to what I had. Tunis Air did not also tag the bag. When I mailed Tunis Air, they told me there was no transfer of bags from Turkish Airline.

“On Friday, I received the second bag. Just like the first bag, the second bag also came with tags that was put by Turkish Airlines. Tunis Air had nothing on the bags to show it was ever with them.”

Abdulmalik told FIJ that Turkish Airlines eventually mailed her on October 1 to say they were searching for her third bag, adding that “there’s a possibility that the luggage may not be found.”

Turkish Airlines’ mail to Abdulmalik
She told FIJ that the airline had offered to pay for her loss if the bag was not found, but, to her, the items in the bag meant more than any form of compensation.

When FIJ sent a message to the airline’s help desk on Twitter, an agent responded by saying the matter was still being looked into.

*first published by FIJ Nigeria

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