UK tourists risk losing £11,000 because 'unexpected' bag rule is enforced

UK tourists have been warned they could lose dream holidays after a woman missed out on her dream £11,000 cruise thanks to a little-known bag rule. Valerie Coleshaw was due to travel from Manchester to Amsterdam before changing onto a flight that would take her to Buenos Aires in Argentina.

From there, she was due to travel to Ushuaia where she would board a cruise operated by HX. But before she got on the plane to travel to Amsterdam, she was told by airline KLM they needed to put her cabin baggage in the hold because the plane was very full.

She was told the bag would be returned to her before her flight to South America. But upon arriving in the Netherlands, she didn't see her bag on the carousel - and says she felt "humiliated" when approaching KLM staff about her issue.

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“I have heard of this happening before. So after checking several times that I would pick it up in Amsterdam, I agreed,” she said. “Arriving at Amsterdam, my case was not on the carousel. I was advised to go straight to the boarding gate for Buenos Aires and it would be waiting for me there. It wasn’t.

“After hours of badgering the staff, my hand luggage could not be found. In it was my asthma spray.” She added: “I was left with a member of staff who said she would try to put me on another flight the next day. I realised that without my hand luggage I would have the same problem.

“I could not contact Hurtigruten as all the paperwork was in my hand luggage. Having never experiencing anything like this before, I felt humiliated and confused. I was given vouchers for a hotel and flight back to Manchester the following morning.”

“I have never before been parted from my hand luggage but went along with the request – even checking four times before I boarded the flight to Amsterdam that it would be waiting for me,” she said. A spokesperson for HX said: “We are disappointed that we have been unable to resolve this current issue to date. Our guest experience team have been in direct contact with Ms Coleshaw for several months now and we have worked hard to try and find a resolution to this situation.

“Following a thorough review of this booking, we offered a ‘Future Cruise Credit’, equivalent to the value of the sailing and available for use on all our itineraries around the world. This amount far exceeds our standard cancellation policy and was provided by our team as a sincere goodwill gesture. Furthermore, we have also offered the opportunity to extend the rebooking period to the end of 2024, for any expedition voyage departing through to the end of 2025.

“We remain fully committed to making this option available to Ms Coleshaw. Our dedicated guest experience team will continue to look for a suitable resolution to this matter, in line with what has already been offered, and hope this can be achieved soon.”