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At last! 17 days later, US visitor to Inverness is reunited with his missing luggage

Larry Smith playing his Celtic pipe, part of his missing luggage
Mr Smith with his Celtic flute

An American holidaymaker who was left stranded without his luggage in Inverness has had it returned – 17 days later.

Larry Smith, 80, left his US home earlier this month for a near-month-long trip to the Highlands.

But when he arrived in Edinburgh, something crucial was missing – his bag.

He spent the next 17 days of his holiday in Inverness making calls – and trips back down to Edinburgh – to find the missing luggage.

Mr Smith’s luggage finally turned up this week – including his walking gear and Celtic flute.

Watch how he celebrated the return of those two belongings in this short video:

But although he is happy to have his luggage back for the last week of his holiday, he still has questions for Air Canada and handlers SwissPort.

Mr Smith said: “I’m glad and thankful that I have my bag back – but I don’t feel any gratitude.

“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place and it took 17 days to get it back.”

The tale of the disappearing luggage

Mr Smith left his home in Oakland, flew from Dallas Airport to Toronto and then on to Edinburgh.

He waited and waited at the Scottish airport – but his luggage never appeared.

At about the same time, there were widespread delays and disruption.

Mr Smith filled in a form, then headed to Cedar Villa guest house in Inverness, where he was staying with owners Frank Eadie and Lisa Kennard.

Larry Smith and Frank Eadie outside the guest house
Mr Smith (right) and Mr Eadie outside the guest while he was still waiting for his luggage to turn up Picture by Sandy McCook

In the following days, Mr Smith made two trips back down to Edinburgh to try to track down the missing luggage.

He also had to buy clothes and toiletries to get him through what turned out to be more than a fortnight without most of his luggage.

Mr Eadie said: “The communication left a lot to be desired. Larry had no idea when his luggage would turn up.”

It finally turns up – but what now?

Mr Smith’s luggage appeared at the guest house on Monday.

Since then, he has been making the most of his time left in Scotland doing what he had planned to do in the first place.

Hence the trips into the hills with his trusty flute.

Larry Smith with his Celtic flute
Mr Smith with his flute

He was also able to give his hosts – with whom he has stayed for years – gifts from his homeland.

Mr Smith is trying to make the most of the last few days of his holiday. However, he is annoyed about the missing luggage saga.

He added: “It was great to get my stuff back and get out in the hills – but my holiday is rapidly coming to an end.”

Mr Smith says there has been no mention of compensation so far. He added it is something he will pursue when he gets home.

A spokesperson for Swissport said: “We understand that luggage delays are frustrating and are pleased that Mr Smith has been reunited with his belongings.”

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