A woman says her partner is “non-functional with distress” after Qantas lost a bag containing her mother’s ashes.
The couple flew from Heathrow Airport to Sydney on Saturday morning but were still waiting for the bag to arrive four days later.
Women‘s Community Shelters chief executive and Domestic Violence NSW chair Annabelle Daniel expressed her frustration on Twitter after she and her partner had not heard back from the airline.
“Hey @Qantas, my partner‘s bag is four days late from QF2 on Saturday morning,” she tweeted on Wednesday night.
“It has her mother‘s ashes in it. She wasn’t able to see her mum before she died, or attend the funeral in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“No responses from your website. Could you help more please?”
In subsequent replies to other shocked Twitter users Ms Daniel explained how badly her partner had been affected by this “horror show” of a situation.
“My partner was so close to her mum and just devastated she couldn’t travel to be with her when she died. Watching your mum’s funeral on Zoom is gut wrenching enough, let alone this,” she wrote.
“She’s not the kind of person to make a fuss, but this compounds the grief all over again.
“She’s quite non-functional with distress. I very much hope this is sorted out.
“She’s so anxious and this has just been a horror show.”
In response, Qantas’ Twitter account said it was “sorry to hear what happened” and asked Ms Daniel to DM them the baggage file reference and passenger‘s name so they could look into it.
In a statement to NCA NewsWire, an airline spokesperson apologised for the “extremely distressing situation” and said the bag was being sent to the woman on Thursday.
“We understand that this is an extremely distressing situation for this customer and have apologised for the delay in getting their bags to them,” the Qantas spokesperson said.
“The bag is being couriered to the customer today (Thursday).
“We have been in contact with the family and have been providing updates on the location of the bag.
“Heathrow Airport has had widely publicised baggage issues over recent days which led to tens of thousands of misplaced bags.”
The situation has been met with anger and empathy from other Twitter users who were stunned by what had happened.
“Disgusting treatment of your partner and so disrespectful from @Qantas,” one said.
“Oh my gosh that’s terrible. I hope they find the luggage and it’s safely returned. My condolences to your partner,” another said.
“So sad to hear your news. Our bags are seven days late from LHR on QF0002, trying to talk to someone at QANTAS is a complete farce with hours on hold.”
It comes after Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce acknowledged they are “not delivering the service that we would expect to do”.
Australia’s airports have been marred by repeated issues of cancelled/delayed flights, long lines and lost baggage, something Mr Joyce attributed to the impacts of restarting after Covid.
“It is a process of restarting the aviation industry that has been grounded for two years and there are resource constraints across the whole supply chain of airports, airlines, catering across manufacturers and supply parts,” Mr Joyce told 6PR on Wednesday.
“Now that‘s no excuse for a customer that doesn’t have their bags, doesn’t get their flight going on time, we recognise it. And we are putting a huge amount of resources into making sure it gets better as fast as possible.”
Mr Joyce also said in another interview that there were 18,000 bags stranded at Heathrow Airport on Saturday.
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