An easyJet passenger landed in Portugal to find jewellery and £300 in cash intended as a birthday present had vanished from their suitcase.
The Read family were horrified when their luggage emerged at Lisbon airport with the padlock removed.
Mum Catherine and dad David were carrying a Tiffany necklace and a Thomas Sabo to give to their daughter.
Ella is due to turn 21 at the weekend while on holiday with her parents but airport thieves have put a dampener on celebrations.
Birthday cards from friends and family were even taken from the devastated family.
The trio flew from Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport on Sunday morning and checked in one large suitcase with a metal padlock on it.
Catherine believes the theft must have occurred in the UK as the cases were speedily removed and put on the carousel in Lisbon, meaning there would have been little time to gain access and search for valuables.
She said: ‘We’re absolutely shocked that this can happen. You pay for a service, you pay for a suitcase and you even put a padlock on it and this happens. It’s an absolute disgrace.
‘Ella always wanted to come to Lisbon. Now she’s got no birthday cards or anything to open on her birthday.’
The furious mum, from Hyde, continued: ‘It’s not a nice feeling knowing someone has gone through your personal belongings. We’ve never experienced anything like this before.’
EasyJet, which contracts ground handling to a third party, has confirmed it has launched an investigation.
A spokesperson for the airline said: ‘We are sorry to learn of the Read family’s experience.
‘We take all allegations of this nature very seriously and are investigating this with our baggage handling partner at Manchester Airport.
‘We work closely with all of our airport partners to ensure our passengers’ bags are handled securely.
‘We are in touch with the family to apologise for their experience and offer any further assistance we can in the matter.’
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: ‘It is disappointing to hear of the Read’s experience while travelling to Portugal, and are assured by easyJet they will be fully investigating the matter.’
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