Mum blasts British Airways after nightmare luggage fiasco: ‘I was in utter shock’

Travelling can be one of life's great pleasures, especially when you're heading off on a well-deserved holiday. For many Australians, the allure of European summers is irresistible, and as our own winter sets in, the Northern Hemisphere beckons with open arms.

However, the dream of sipping a cappuccino in a Parisian café or strolling along a sun-drenched Mediterranean beach can quickly turn into a nightmare when travel goes awry, as one mum recently discovered.

Millie Alder, a Gold Coast resident, had been meticulously planning and saving for over two years for her month-long European escapade.

But just days into her trip, she encountered every traveller's dread: her luggage had gone missing.

Millie Alder’s luggage didn’t arrive at the airport in France. Image source: Unsplash

Upon landing in Marseille, France, from London on British Airways flight 370 on May 10, Millie's distinctive purple suitcase, which contained not only her wardrobe but also her two-year-old daughter's clothes and medication, was nowhere to be found.

The situation was dire. With a wedding to attend the very next day, Millie was left in a state of panic, trying to locate her missing belongings.

‘We waited for all the bags to come out, and my husbands came out first, and then the conveyor belt just stopped, and I thought, “Where is my bag?”’ she recounted.

‘It's been so awful,’ she expressed.

The airport staff could only confirm her worst fears—the suitcase had not made the flight.

‘I was in utter shock,’ Alder said. ‘I had an outfit in [the suitcase] which I bought well over six months ago and had it perfectly altered to my body and all of my baby’s clothes and medication.’

The oversight left her scrambling, borrowing a dress and shoes for the black-tie event, and spending over $1,000 to replace essential items, all while the airline seemed unable to provide answers or assistance.

Seven days later, she still hasn't been reunited with the bag. She has ‘no idea’ where it is and claims the airline ‘can't tell me’. While she has travel insurance, she has not been able to contact them yet.

Alder mentioned that the incident had dampened her month-long holiday.

‘I’ve been saving up for this trip for 2 years, and I’m so so sad,’ she said.

As Alder reached out on social media, her followers rallied to her cause, tagging British Airways in hopes of recovering her belongings.

As of the time of publication, British Airways has not issued a statement regarding the incident.

While Alder’s story is distressing, it serves as a cautionary tale for all of us planning to travel.

Here are some steps you can take to mitigate the risk of lost luggage and ensure your holiday remains as stress-free as possible:

1. Use a tracking device: Modern technology offers a simple solution to tracking your luggage. Devices like Apple AirTags or Tile trackers can be placed inside your suitcase, allowing you to track its location via smartphone. Millie usually followed this practice but forgot amidst the chaos of travelling with a child.

2. Pack a carry-on with essentials: Always pack a carry-on bag with a change of clothes, essential toiletries, and any critical medications. This will tide you over if your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

3. Label your luggage clearly: Ensure your suitcase is easily identifiable with clear, up-to-date contact information. A distinctive luggage tag or colourful ribbon can also help your bag stand out.

4. Keep valuables with you: Important documents, jewellery, and electronics should always be kept in your carry-on.

5. Know your rights and insurance coverage: Familiarise yourself with the airline's lost luggage policy and ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers lost or delayed baggage.

6. Stay calm and communicate: If your luggage does go missing, report it immediately and stay in regular contact with the airline. Keep a record of all communications and any expenses incurred as a result.

So before you jet off on your next adventure, take a moment to plan for the unforeseen. It could make all the difference between a trip to remember and one you'd rather forget.
Key Takeaways
  • A mother's luggage went missing on a British Airways flight to Marseille, France, containing all her and her daughter's clothes and essentials.
  • The airline could not find the purple suitcase, causing distress for the mother and inconvenience for attending a wedding without her belongings.
  • The ordeal has caused the mother over $1,000 in expenses to replace necessities, on top of the emotional strain during what was meant to be a dream European holiday.
  • The mother appealed to the public via social media for assistance in locating her distinctive purple suitcase, with many people extending their support and tagging British Airways in hopes of resolving the issue.
Have you ever experienced lost luggage on your travels? What tips do you have for fellow travellers? Share your stories and advice in the comments below!
  • Sad
Reactions: PattiB
I've fortunately never lost luggage, but my brother-in-law had the pleasure on two overseas trips.
I take so much medication, so I always have packets in both my and hubby's hand luggage and residual boxes divided between both suitcases.
I do the same with any foreign currency we have, with the ones in the suitcases well hidden. Ditto jewellery.
We also have photo copies of our passports, doctor's medical letter and photos of every box of medication and prescriptions, divided up in hand luggage, suit cases and wallets.
As my husband is my carer, he carries some of all my most necessary tablets with him and has a doctor's letter with him in his bag, hand luggage and suitcase.
Oh yes. I always have a change of underwear in both our hand luggage.
Am I paranoid or just over cautious?
My husband’s luggage went missing from air France and De Gaule airport. (I believe this is not unusual from the stories of others on the various River Cruises we talked to) He had to use the same clothes for 14 days as the shops on the itinerary were mostly souvenirs shops. We did manage to purchase an onboard polo shirt. So our Vienna formal concert was out of the question. The bag turned up at the second last destination due to a very persistent staff member of the cruise company. So sad
  • Sad
Reactions: Lyndall Freeman
Going back a few years now ,but on a trip back to the U.K from Brisbane ,landing at Manchester airport , my bag was missing .
British Airways located it within 24 hours and it was delivered to the address I was staying at , so no big complaints about the level of service back in the day and that was before all the tracking numbers issued today .

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