A widow’s poignant journey to bury some of her late husband’s ashes along with her wedding rings was ruined when the airline abandoned her suitcase.
Joyce Jackson, 78, flew to Florida last month hoping to leave the memorabilia at her favorite vacation spot – Walt Disney World in Orlando.
But she claims Virgin Atlantic accidentally left the suitcase with them at Manchester Airport, blaming their “thimble” label, which she believes must have fallen off.
Mrs Jackson, from Abergele in North Wales, booked the trip in memory of her husband Gordon and planned it around 80th birthday and her anniversary.
She hoped to bury the valuable items in a garden at the Caribbean Beach Resort, where they had vacationed together many times.
Ms Jackson said: “Gordon absolutely loved it there. He would talk to the characters. It wasn’t a pilgrimage, but I wanted to bury some of his ashes and our wedding rings there.
“But it was like Virgin Atlantic didn’t care.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: “We sincerely regret that Ms Jackson was not able to receive her luggage in Orlando, particularly in these circumstances.
“We are investigating what happened at Manchester Airport and will be in touch with Ms Jackson directly.”
She continued: “At Manchester Airport I was told I had to use the self-service baggage drop. I did and was given a luggage tag. A man put it on.
“It wasn’t a sticky label where you loop it around a handle and tape both ends together. It was more like a paper. But it must have come off.
“I came to Orlando with no luggage. I travel light and only had what I was wearing – not even a toothbrush.
“But the worst part was that the ashes and the rings were in the suitcase. I know you can’t take a person’s ashes with you, so I just had some ashes and our wedding rings.
“I wanted to bury her in a garden at the Caribbean Beach Resort. The main ash is in a rose pot in our garden.”
Ms Jackson estimates she spent around £700 extra on clothes and toiletries to replace those in her lost suitcase.
She says it was only found when a manager on duty in Orlando traced it back to Manchester Airport – where it had been all along.
The widow believes it was her last chance to bury those few ashes and sentimental rings, saying “I can’t go back because I can’t afford it and I’m 78.”
Married for 57 years, Joyce and Gordon had tied the knot on 26 September 1964 at St John’s Baptist Church in Sussex Street, Rhyl.
He was vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the band Brian Sharpe and the Senators and later vocalist and bassist in his own band Mr Blue in the 80’s.
Joyce owned JJ’s Bridal Veils Shop in Kinmel Bay and Gordon was a local councillor. He later worked in sales at the store until they left him in 2009. Her daughter Tracey now runs it.
But tragedy struck last year when Mr Jackson had an accident and died on June 3rd.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/22/widows-trip-to-bury-husbands-ashes-ruined-after-suitcase-left-behind-17616484/ The widow's trip to bury her husband's ashes was ruined after the suitcase was left behind