PASSENGERS have been forced to climb through baggage carousels belts at the airport to find their own luggage due to staff shortages, a new investigation has revealed.
A video caught the moment desperate holidaymakers crawled across the luggage belts to find their suitcases.
The video, narrated by Jane Moore, said: "Two passengers have climbed into the airside baggage area."
The passenger spoke to the baggage handlers, telling them they had been waiting for over an hour and a half after landing from Turkey and offered to help unload them.
However, baggage handlers said that even though they were at the belt, the luggage probably wasn't even theirs as "belts have been changed and flights cancelled".
Revealed by Channel 4's Airport Chaos Undercover: Dispatches, an undercover reporter working for Swissport said it happens "all the time".
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He said it was "f***** chaos" which even led to flights between passengers.
The problems come after the Swissport, who are used by a number of airlines, made more than half of the 6,000 staff redundant during the pandemic.
A spokesperson apologised for the disruption and said they have hired more than "4,1000 people since January".
The Channel 4 investigation also spoke to a Wizz Air pilot who spoke of the chaos.
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They said: “There is a shortage of crew and to avoid cancelling flights, they encourage staff to work harder. There is pressure for us to help out by flying on our days off.
“There is also a summer bonus scheme that encourages pilots to fly more hours."
A Wizz Air spokesperson said they operated a "industry-leading fatigue management system," adding: "We will not hesitate to cancel flights whenever necessary to guarantee safety."
And Manchester Airport told Sun Online Travel that the filming took place a month ago, with improvements being made since then.
Research carried out for Dispatches by air travel data provider OAG estimates that, since January, 1.7million people flying into or out of the UK have been affected by cancellations within 48 hours of their flight.
Brits have been warned to expect cancelled flights and luggage problems for months to come.
Distressed passengers have been left stranded in huge queues at airports across the country in recent months as airlines have cancelled thousands of flights.
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And strike action is set to cause more chaos – Ryanair crew in Spain are threatening walkouts until January while pilots are now threatening to strike this summer.
- Airport Chaos Undercover: Dispatches, 8pm tonight, Channel 4.
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