Luggage retrieval service is open to all airport passengers
I read with interest the fuss made over the handling of a piece of luggage left in the non-restricted area by Leung Chung-yan, daughter of our Hong Kong chief executive, Leung Chun-ying.
A somewhat similar incident happened to me at Hong Kong International Airport during a trip to Malaysia a few months ago during the Lunar New Year holidays.
I had left a box of carry-on items on a trolley just outside the departure gate. I realised this after having checked through immigration, panicked and requested assistance from immigration officials to retrieve the item for me, but was told that I could not leave through the same restricted-zone channel I had entered. The officials were helpful, suggesting that I seek assistance from the information centre one floor below.
At that time, I was of course frustrated because every second counted since someone could be whisking off with my little box of decorative lighting before airport personnel could retrieve it for me in time, or so I thought, and naturally I was quite unhappy that an immigration official could not just accompany me straight to the departure gate to retrieve my box and have me re-screened as I re-entered the restricted zone. But in hindsight, I understand that that was not their job; theirs was to ensure safe travel for legitimate travellers.
I hurriedly found my way to the information centre. The airport staff member was very efficient. He made a call, provided the relevant information to colleagues, and told me my name-tagged box had been spotted and would be returned to me shortly after it had gone through security screening. The promise was kept, in good time before I boarded my plane.
For me, as in Chung-yan’s case, this is the airport’s “special arrangement”, extended to all passengers alike. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank the airport staff for a job professionally done. And to say how proud Hongkongers are of our beautiful and efficient airport as a whole.
Yap Foong Ha, Sheung Shui