250 pieces of luggage lost each day at Zurich Airport as summer rush begins

250 pieces of luggage lost each day at Zurich Airport as summer rush begins

A lack of workers and increased demand for flights in airports across Europe has led to continued disruption at Zurich Airport. Swissport - the baggage handler in Zurich - now handles 250 reports of lost luggage every day.

School holidays pile on the pressure at Swiss airports

With the school summer holidays in full swing, many families are flying to destinations overseas. The heightened demand, coupled with staff shortages, has led to long waiting times at check-in, security and baggage reclaim in airports around the world. 

The increased pressure on airlines has also caused more flight cancellations, delays and staff shortages, meaning that more and more passengers are arriving in Zurich, Geneva and Basel to find their luggage hasn't made it there with them - and it often isn't sent on in time to join them on their trip. According to Swissport, around 250 reports of lost luggage are received at Zurich Airport every day.

1.700 bags waiting to be reclaimed at Zurich Airport

"In the past, we only recorded this number of lost luggage items in August [when a rush of holidaymakers return to Switzerland]," said Swissport spokesperson Nathalie Berchtold. She explained that the number of baggage items being delivered to Zurich is five times higher than normal, which makes lost luggage more common.

“Currently, around 80 luggage trolleys for local luggage and 60 trolleys for transit luggage are affected by the backlog. This is a total of 1.700 pieces of luggage," Berchtold said, conceding that the international company will have to employ more staff to deal with the backlog.

How will I receive my lost luggage in Switzerland?

If a person is a resident of Switzerland, their delayed or lost bag is sent to their address by post or courier. "Luggage from passengers who live abroad but entered Zurich is sent to their nearest airport and delivered from there via a courier service,” Berchtold explained.

If there is no way to identify the owner, Berchtold said that the luggage is held for five days before being handed over to the airline for more processing. After three to six months, if no owner is found, the contents of the bag are auctioned off.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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