I bought a plane ticket just to look for my lost luggage. It was the only way I could get my bag back.

I bought a plane ticket just to look for my lost luggage. It was the only way I could get my bag back.
The chaos at airports has seen luggage pile up. Dermot Lennon said he'd never seen anything like it when he flew to Dublin Airport on June 28.Mark Wayt
  • Dermot Lennon's luggage was still missing a week after his trip back from Australia to Ireland.
  • He decided to buy a plane ticket just to be able to search through Dublin Airport's baggage area.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Dermot Lennon, who bought a plane ticket just to be able to search for his lost luggage at Dublin Airport. It has been edited for length and clarity.

We flew back to Ireland from Australia on June 28. Dublin Airport was just littered with bags – they were all over the place. What seems to be happening is that the bags aren't coming in at the same time as people, including mine.

I've never seen anything like it. Bags were just piled between carousels or against the wall. Before, if there was a single bag lying around, they got rid of it.

When I got home, I tried ringing both the airline and Dublin Airport but didn't get through to anyone.

I went back to the airport a few days later. There was an American man who had bought a ticket for 300 euros, which is about $300, to get through security to search for his bag. So I found 18-euro tickets to go to Glasgow, Scotland to do the same.


This is the only way to get your bag because authorities are not doing anything

I was traveling with Qatar Airways and they have an online baggage tracing system. I put in the tag number for my bag but it didn't come up.

I'd booked with a travel agency called Trailfinders. They were the only company who answered the phone. They explained that there was nothing they could do and that they also couldn't get through to anybody.

They said to go down to the airport – but not on the weekend because this was the first weekend of the school holidays and the airport would be manic.

So I went down the following Monday, July 4.

But it was not easy, there was no information

I went to Qatar Airways. They sent me to baggage handling. There were quite a number of people. It's near an area down in the basement near the arrivals.


They had an arrangement where between 2 and 4 p.m., they would take groups of six people into the baggage hall where they could look for their bags.

We were just hanging around and given no information. By 7:30 p.m., it was clear not everyone would get a chance to go through. That's when I met the American man who bought the 300-euro ticket.

I left the baggage hall and went to see if I could get through security. But to you have to have a boarding pass. So I went to the Ryanair flight deck, but by the time I got there, all the flights were very expensive.

Later at home, I found there were 18 tickets to Glasgow for the following day

I arrived at the airport the next day with my boarding pass and went through security, which took about two hours. When I got through I wasn't sure how to get from departures to arrival.

So I asked a few shopkeepers. I learned that near gate 217, you can go into baggage reclaim, after you go through immigration.


I had my passport and the immigration authorities said "Welcome to Ireland." I smiled and continued on in and got into the baggage hall.

I saw one bag with the tag on it from June 15 and thought "my bags are going to be here somewhere."

I'd traveled business class so I had an orange sticker on my bag, so I was scanning looking for an orange sticker. It only took me about 20 minutes to find it.

The system has completely collapsed

They're blaming lack of staff but this particular instance wasn't because of a lack of staff. It's a lack of organization, and a lack of care.

My advice for other travelers is that for anything that you really need when you travel, carry it with you.


Editor's note: Qatar Airways did not respond to Insider's request for comment. A spokesperson for Dublin Airport emphasized luggage was the airlines' responsibility but said: "We are liaising very closely with both the airlines and their ground-handling companies in relation to these issues, the root of which lies in the significant staff hiring challenges that are facing all companies operating in the aviation sector currently."