Elderly passenger's luggage burned

An elderly airline passenger has been left outraged after her suitcase arrived at an airport destroyed by fire.

"The case was burned to a crisp," Pauline Perkins, 58, from Malvern in the UK, said.

Pauline Perkin's luggage was destroyed by fire. Source: Caters News

"They were trying to tell me it fell off a trolley, but it looks like an explosive device has gone off next to it for that to happen.

The suitcase turned up charred, soaking wet, and wrapped in plastic film.

"I was waiting for 45 minutes with no sign of my case on the carousel, and then the airport assistant who was helping me spotted a bag wrapped in Clingfilm," Pauline said.

"We checked the label on the luggage and it said P Perkins. I could not believe it when I realised it was my luggage!"

Pauline had arrived at Birmingham International Airport on a flight from Istanbul to find the soggy, burned remains of her suitcase.

This plastic-wrapped mess was waiting for her on the baggage carousel. Source: Caters News

Upon closer inspection, she spotted that the bottom of the holdall had been "blown out", her clothes had been burned and that sentimental valuables, such as jewellery, were missing.

"All my clothes were burned and soaking wet. I lost several things that I had bought in Egypt, and lots of jewellery with a lot of sentimental value. It's really upsetting," Pauline explained.

"I went to the airport staff to tell them what had happened, and they said I only had a week to make a complaint."

She has since complained to the airline about the event, but claims they have offered her no information about what happened.

"Turkish Airlines said they would offer me compensation and a flight upgrade, but I haven't seen any money and I'm not sure I want to go again," Pauline said.

Pauline had flown to Birmingham from Sharm El Sheikh on April 15 after a 35-day holiday in Egypt where she had been visiting friends.

The flights she booked with Turkish Airlines took her via Istanbul, where she had a six-hour stopover.

Pauline and her husband Jeremy, 71, believe the incident with the luggage must have taken place in Istanbul, as someone had doused the luggage in water to put the fire out.

However, the massive hole in the bottom of the bag caused many of her valuables to fall out.

"It's ridiculous. It's obvious something has caught fire or exploded next to it," Jeremy said.

"I was not best pleased when I saw it. It was all shredded. My wife still has not had a proper explanation. It's ridiculous."

Pauline's clothing was ruined. Source: Caters News

Pauline says the stress of dealing with the airline has aggravated her chest infection, which led to her being hospitalised at Worcester Royal Infirmary after her trip.

She claims she wrote multiple emails to the airline without reply after being told by airport staff she only had a week to claim for the damage.

According to Pauline, it was only recently that Turkish Airlines began to contact her.

"I wrote an email to complain almost as soon as I got back. It took ages to hear from them. I have sent endless emails but I had no reply and no answer until last week," Pauline said.

"It's been such a stress. I had to go to A&E because my chest infection had got a lot worse. This is all I've been thinking about. It's such a frustration."

The airline has said it will compensate her fully and offer her a free upgrade on her next flight.

"The airline has received a report from the handling agent in Istanbul to confirm that the bag fell off a trolley before loading and was consequently damaged and the contents fell out onto the apron," a spokesperson for Birmingham International Airport said.

"The agent re-packed the bag and wrapped it with the cellophane type material to protect any more contents falling out before reloading.

"The airline has called Mrs Perkins and is having the report translated and sent to her. They will fully compensate her accordingly."

Turkish Airlines has been contacted for comment.

With Caters News.

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