AN airline will offer “a gesture of goodwill” to a family of six after their dream holiday was ruined when a passport was lost at check-in – only for it to turn up in arrivals a day later.

Alan Raine, of Bishop Auckland, claims a passport belonging to his son, Ashley, was lost by United Airlines check-in staff at Manchester Airport last Monday (October 20).

He said they had already had all their documents checked by security staff before handing them over, only to be told minutes later one was missing.

With no sign of the passport the family was informed they had no choice but to return home rather than be jetting off to Florida, US, via Washington.

“We knew we had handed over all the passports and the first bag was checked in,” he said.

“Then she told us one of the passports was missing. Even the security guard said he had seen them all.

“We were offered flights later that day but we couldn’t get another passport in that time.

“We were devastated. We had paid more than £5,500 for the flights only to be told we couldn’t go and it wasn’t our fault.

“We think if the labels hadn’t been removed from the bag that was checked in it would have proved the passport had been handed in as Ashley's name would have been on the bag as his was the first one they looked at.”

Since returning home, Mr Raine said they had been contacted to say the passport had turned up on the baggage carousel in arrivals at Manchester Airport the next day - but they have not been contacted by the airline about a gesture of goodwill.

“We haven’t had an apology,” he said. “We are annoyed by the way they have gone about it. They have told us they are investigating but we haven’t heard anything. They just don’t seem interested.

“We are just gutted. I don’t know when we will get to go back now as it is not just the money from the flights we have lost it is rest of the trip too. We had all been really looking forward to it.”

A spokesman for United Airlines said: “We are sorry to hear about the disruption to the Raine’s family travel plans following the loss of a passport at Manchester Airport.

“United will contact the customer to offer a gesture of goodwill.”