Auckland Airport asks for patience amid growing number of lost bags due to staffing shortages, flight disruptions

Auckland Airport is asking for patience from passengers whose bags have been temporarily lost.

The airport is dealing with larger-than-normal numbers of mishandled bags, partly because of staffing shortages and flight disruptions around the world.

Karen Wyles is still waiting for a suitcase two weeks after travelling from London to Auckland.

"It's my 15-year-old daughter's suitcase. It still hasn't arrived," Wyles said.

She returned to Auckland Airport on Thursday to search for answers.

"We're going to see if we have any luck finding the suitcase," Wyles said.

Auckland Airport has warned travellers about staffing shortages. It recently reported 1600 vacancies Including in baggage handling - but that's not the only thing causing a log jam of luggage.

In a statement released on Thursday, a spokesperson for Auckland Airport said it is also "continuing to see the downstream impact of offshore disruption in the aviation system impacting travellers arriving in New Zealand".

Similar scenes have been captured in the US as the country also faces staffing issues and a deadly winter storm causing thousands of flight cancellations.

"We do have a lot of carriers coming from the US and that will be a significant contributor," Board of Airline Representatives NZ's Cath O'Brien said.

As a result of the disruption, Auckland Airport said "mishandled bags are arriving daily and while the number can fluctuate there are currently larger than usual volumes".

Responsibility for baggage ultimately sits with airlines, Auckland Airport said.

O'Brien, who is a representative of the airlines, said they understand the frustrations but it's a global issue with no simple fix.

"We're seeing this from every carrier's perspective - both on Tasman, Asia and all over the place."

For now, Auckland Airport's advice is to pack any critical items in carry-on luggage.

Wyles, meanwhile, hopes to get her daughter's suitcase back in time for their flight back to the UK next week.