- European carrier Icelandair is flying its own baggage handlers to Amsterdam to help load and unload luggage.
- A company spokesperson told Iceland media outlet RUV that the new system is working well so far.
- The move comes after airlines and airports struggle to successfully track and deliver bags this summer.
European carrier Icelandair has found a unique way to better manage customer luggage.
Airports in Europe, like London’s Heathrow Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, have been battling huge volumes of passengers this summer. High demand coupled with staffing shortages has caused major operational issues, particularly when it comes to handling luggage.
Amsterdam has been one of the worst-hit airports, having been forced to impose a passenger cap to better manage the volume. Heathrow implemented the same policy on Tuesday.
To better manage the problems in Amsterdam, Icelandair has started sending its own baggage handlers on flights to Amsterdam to help load and unload luggage, Icelandic public broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RUV) reported.
Airline spokesperson Ásdís Ýr Pétursdóttir told RUV that the company took the initiative as a way to reduce delays caused by slow baggage transfers.
“Since last Friday, we have added two bag handlers to our crew to Amsterdam to speed things up and keep planes on time,” they said.
According to RUV, Icelandair had bag handlers on all flights to Amsterdam on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the system has worked so far. The program will be continued for the rest of the week but will be re-assessed after, Pétursdóttir said.
“We will have to see how it develops and whether we carry this on, and even maybe to other destinations,” they told RUV. “As I say, we are trying to find ways to reduce the effects of these delays and minimize disruption to the journeys of our passengers.”
Icelandair did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Throughout the summer, airlines have struggled to consistently track and deliver passenger baggage, with hundreds of customers saying their luggage arrived late, and, in some cases, not at all.
One customer whose bag was lost for a week after returning home to Ireland from Australia bought a cheap flight so he could access a restricted area at Dublin Airport where lost luggage was being stored.
Another passenger has been waiting nearly a month for a lost bag that has important medication in it. The luggage has traveled to Munich, Athens, and Venice, but the airline has continually failed to keep track of it.