Millie was on a European trip of a lifetime. Then an airport mishap changed everything

Millie was on a European trip of a lifetime. Then an airport mishap changed everything
  • PublishedMay 22, 2024

‘It’s been a real shame… I’ve worked so hard for this family holiday but it hasn’t gone to plan.’

An Australian mum has told of how her long-awaited family holiday in Europe was thrown into chaos after British Airways lost her suitcase — leaving her to fork out almost $1000 to replace her items.

Millie Alder was flying from London to France with her husband and their one-year-old daughter for their month-long trip of a lifetime.

But when the Queensland family-of-three arrived at Marseille Provence Airport at 9pm on May 10, the mum realised her bright pastel purple luggage was nowhere to be seen.

Her suitcase contained all of her makeup and clothes, including a dress she was planning on wearing to her friend’s wedding on May 11, as well as all of her daughter’s outfits, baby essentials such as nappies and her asthma medication.

“I’ve called British airways every single day and all they can say is that they are still trying to locate it,” Millie tells 7Life, adding she’s now 10 days into her holiday — without her suitcase.

“It’s been a real shame as I’ve worked two jobs to make this holiday happen — only to have my luggage missing for nearly half the trip.

“I’m grateful to be in Europe, don’t get me wrong but honestly it’s so sad that I’ve worked so hard for this trip and it hasn’t gone to plan.”

Her bright pastel purple luggage has been missing since May 10. Her bright pastel purple luggage has been missing since May 10. Credit: Millie Alder

The mishap all started when the couple were waiting for their suitcases at the baggage carousel at Marseille Provence Airport after travelling from Heathrow Airport.

“We waited for all the bags to come out and my husband’s came out first… and then the conveyer belt just stopped and I thought, ‘Where is my bag?’” she recalls.

Millie says she was told by an airport staff her suitcase “never made the flight” from London so she was required to fill out a lost baggage form.

“I was in utter shock as the wedding was the next day so I began to stress,” she explains.

“It had an outfit in it which I have bought well over six months ago and had it perfectly altered to my body and all of my baby’s clothes and her medication. She has bad asthma and we got the medication in case she got chesty.”

Millie Alder is currently on a family holiday with her husband and their one-year-old daughter.
The mum has had to spend almost $1000 on replacing her clothes, along with her daughter’s outfits and baby essentials.

The mum says she has an AirTag in all her suitcases — except the purple baggage.

“I forgot to put my AirTag in my bag at Heathrow Airport as I was so distracted by my baby and forgot,” she explains.

After the suitcase mishap, the family was met with another dilemma.

“As we spent so long in the airport to see where my bag was… the car rental company we had paid 1000 euros ($A1630) for was shut by the time we got there,” she says.

“So we had to pay another 1000 euros ($A1630) for another car so we could drive from the airport to our accommodation in a rural town.”

On the day of her friend’s wedding, Millie was able to borrow a pair of heels, dress and a handbag for the event.

On the morning of her friend’s wedding, Millie says wore her husband’s clothes until she found an outfit.

Fortunately, she was able to borrow a pair of heels from the bride — as well as a designer dress and a handbag from a “beautiful random Swedish lady” she met at her hotel.

The mum says she’s been trying to call the airline every day — but she hasn’t had much luck finding her bag.

“Every time I call, the employee is either speaking French or Italian so I can’t even navigate the phone call,” she says.

Millie wore her husband’s clothes until she found an outfit for her friend’s wedding.

Millie says she believes her suitcase is still sitting at Heathrow Airport.

“I’m praying it turns up soon,” she says.

“My holiday ends in 13 days so it would be nice to have a suitcase for the rest of the trip.”

The mum hopes the money she has had to spend on her holiday would be reimbursed.

“So far we haven’t been able to claim a refund for anything with the car rental place or from British Airways with the clothes I’ve had to buy,” she says.


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