Are baggage handlers pilfering from passengers?

Take note – story published 9 years ago

Ryanair budget airline passengers believe baggage handlers at Riga International Airport (RIX) have been rummaging freely through their gate-checked hand luggage seeking cash and valuables, reported independent commercial television channel TV3 news program Nekā personīga Sunday.

A regular passenger who flies frequently between Latvia and Ireland managed to record audio footage with a hidden camera of a conversation between two RIX employees in the baggage compartment of a Ryanair flight. The employees are busy discussing the contents of passengers’ baggage, swearing profusely and complaining that the bags are full of cigarette packs rather than wallets.

Many Ryanair passengers have complained on social media that they have lost valuables and cash from their baggage when flying through Riga, but that reporting the missing items to the police has borne no fruit. The budget carrier has strict size requirements on hand luggage, often asking passengers to check their hand items at the gate before the flight if they are deemed to be excessive.

Meanwhile Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss repeated his statements Monday affirming that Ryanair intends to stay at RIX as its hub, as its existing “super-advantageous” contract with the airport is set to expire at the end of this week. The minister has insisted that henceforth the discount airline based in Ireland would not enjoy any further “special privileges” and compete on a level playing field with all other airlines serviced at RIX.

Ryanair is already selling summer season tickets, therefore the airline “is not going away,” said the minister.

However, questions persist as to which company will provide Ryanair with its baggage handling services, reported news wire BNS.

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