What’s worse than having your flight delayed? Having your bag stolen before a holiday.
This is exactly what happened to an elderly lady at Melbourne Airport – and while she was going through security, no less.
And now, the 84-year-old has called on airports to change their ways after her terrible experience.
When going through the Melbourne Airport security gates, Helen Sweetnam’s pacemaker set off the alarm, and she was taken aside to be checked by a female security officer.
However, when she eventually got back to the conveyer belt where she had left her bag, it was gone.
Sweetnam, who was travelling to Mt Gambier to see her daughter, told ABC Radio Melbourne that she felt “sick with shock” when she realised her bag had been stolen.
“I immediately said to them my bag was missing,” she said.
Airport security tracked down the missing bag – and the woman who took it – using CCTV, and it was returned to Sweetnam.
“She told the security she’d picked up the bag by mistake,” Sweetnam said.
However, the bag itself may have been returned but its contents were missing. Over $600 in cash, a mobile phone, and a wallet with medical records and a credit card were stolen, right under airport security’s noses.
Now, Sweetnam has called on Melbourne Airport to take responsibility for the occurrence and to treat older travellers better in general.
“If I’m forced to put my stuff on that [conveyor belt] and then I’m moved away from it then it has to be their responsibility to take care of my stuff,” she said.
But Melbourne Airport has apparently dismissed her complaints and ignored her concerns.
“I think it’s bloody rude,” Sweetnam said.
“There’s been no response, and I feel that I’m just being treated like, ‘if we don’t respond she’ll go away’.”