Dubai plane crash: Emirates passengers want their luggage back
Although around 300 passengers had a miraculous escape after an airplane engine exploded at Dubai International Airport last Wednesday, they now have new worries: finding their lost luggage.
The incident forced the Middle East's busiest airport to temporarily close before operating on a single runway. Flight cancellations, delays and diversions affected thousands of passengers, until the airlines announced their operations returned to normal on Saturday afternoon.
Dinah Sam, passenger on Emirates flight EK521, said she lost five suitcases that carried valuable items including work documents and her children's school bags and books.
"I was travelling with my two children, and we lost our items. Emirates crew have been in constant touch and they sent us a letter to which we are yet to reply," said Sam, who noted she is still trying to recover from the incident.
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Rajaram Vaikuntam, whose wife and children were on the flight, said the family has lost three big bags that included gold, gift items and credit cards from India and electronics.
Despite the worry about lost belongings, he said he is pleased with the support he is receiving from Emirates.
"They call us everyday to check on our family. They sent us a separate email address through which we can send our inquiries and told us they are working on finding the luggage," said Vaikuntam.
He added that teams said they would update them about the luggage process within the next two days.
"The crew even referred us to a rehabilitation centre in Dubai when they knew my family is still in stress. I did not expect that much support and attention from them," said Vaikuntam.
Also on the flight was a Sharjah family Jijy George, his wife Daliya David and two children. George told Khaleej Times that his family lost seven bags. Their bank documents, keys to their home in India and clothes are now gone.
However, he added that the airlines has sent a letter, saying the issue is under investigation and they will receive an answer in the next few days.
Echoing this was Marium Kumar, whose name has been changed for anonymity, who said she lost four bags while travelling with her two children. Valuable items included school books, traditional costumes, gifts from India and others.
She added: "Emirates team calls us on a daily basis to ask about our condition, but we are yet to be informed about the luggage situation. They said they expect to have an answer in the next few days."
With the peak summer travel period, Emirates said in that the terminal's baggage systems and teams have already been working at maximum capacity to handle the loads from ongoing passenger travel, which is creating challenges in clearing the accumulated backlog.
"Today, however, we are pleased to report continued improvement and have a solid plan in place to continue transporting bags and re-uniting them with our customers," an Emirates spokesperson said.