• Passengers are struggling to collect baggage at an outdoor facility at Edinburgh Airport, BBC News reported. 
  • Many had to wait hours in sweltering heat, as temperatures reached a record-breaking 104 degrees on Tuesday. 
  • The airport recently suspended its customer service hotline to protect staffers from verbal abuse. 

Passengers at Edinburgh Airport waited outside for hours in sweltering heat on Tuesday to pick up their luggage, as temperatures reached record highs in the UK.  

According to BBC News, travelers were given the option to either endure a long wait, or come back at a later time to collect their bags from a temporary outdoor facility set up by Swissport, one of three international cargo handlers serving the airport.

However, the outdoor space — which was intended to help alleviate growing international luggage backlogs — quickly descended into chaos.

One passenger recalled the scene as a "free for all," in which "hundreds" of people were searching aimlessly for their bags. 

"Nobody helped us find our luggage we just had to rummage around," the passenger told the BBC.


Edinburgh is one of many international airports struggling against extensive luggage backlogs brought on by high demand for travel and ongoing global labor shortages. According to a recent study from insurer Mapfre SA,  lost-baggage claims increased 30% this summer compared to 2019. 

On Tuesday, as frustrated travelers searched for their bags outside, it was reportedly 104.2 degrees — the highest temperature on record in a region not accustomed to extreme heat. 

"People here are not really trained to deal with the heat as somebody from a southern country would," George Havenith, professor of environmental physiology and ergonomics of Loughborough University, told Insider earlier this week.

The incident also comes after the Edinburgh Airport suspended its customer service helpline Monday because of  verbal abuse from frustrated travelers, and after reports that Swissport was storing hundreds of unclaimed bags at the airport. 


A representative for Edinburgh Airport said luggage is managed by the airlines and cargo handlers, and directed Insider to Swissport for comment.  

In a statement shared with Insider, a Swissport spokesperson said it is is collaborating with its partners "to reunite passengers with their baggage as soon as possible."

"We would like to sincerely apologize to the passengers who were not able to collect their baggage at our Edinburgh Airport holding area," the spokesperson said. "Challenging conditions at this peak travel period led to a delay transferring the baggage from the airport terminal and this was not properly communicated."

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