Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers are left queuing for hours before leaving airport without bags after ‘brutal weather meant they couldn’t be offloaded from planes’
- Passengers whose suitcases could not be retrieved were asked to fill in forms
- Chaos was exacerbated by issues ‘resulting from a belt malfunction’ at airport
- A number of frustrated flyers took to social media to share their experience
Passengers faced hours of queues to retrieve their luggage at Heathrow last night, with many having to be sent home without bags altogether, after a storm caused chaos at the airport.
Travellers had to patiently wait in line at Terminal 5 to discover whether or not they could collect their belongings, as handlers were said to be unable to offload baggage due to the brutal weather that raged in London overnight.
Passengers whose suitcases could not be retrieved during that period were asked to fill in forms for missing bags by British Airways and head home.
Baggage is the responsibility of airlines who directly employ or contract out ground handlers to deliver the service, Heathrow said.
However, the chaos was exacerbated as the airport added it had earlier experienced issues ‘resulting from a belt malfunction’, which has since been resolved.
A number of frustrated flyers took to social media overnight to share their experience.
Passengers faced hours of queues to retrieve their luggage at Heathrow last night – with many having to be sent home without bags altogether
Travellers had to patiently wait in line at Terminal 5 to discover whether or not they could collect their belongings
Handlers were said to be unable to offload baggage due to the storm that raged in London overnight
Passengers whose suitcases could not be retrieved during that period were asked to fill in forms for missing bags by British Airways and head home
Some passengers reported a shortage of staff on British Airways desks as the chaos ensued
One wrote: ‘No workers at Heathrow baggage claim so no one is getting any bags tonight… could be 48/72 hours and no help being given. Terrible.’
Another said: ‘Shambles at @HeathrowAirport tonight. Took 1 hr 45 mins to get off plane & through to baggage reclaim. Then ludicrous announcement that no more bags being unloaded tonight due to ‘a storm’. Pathetic. Just admit you do not have enough staff. #heathrow #heathrowairport’
A third added: ‘Last 2 flights into @HeathrowAirport meant waiting more than an hour for bags. Currently been waiting 25 mins. This might be better than Gatwick but give me one reason why I should chose to fly from Heathrow again.’
Another frustrated passenger wrote: ‘#britishairways just told 5+ planes of people at Heathrow their bags wouldn’t be unloaded tonight and to go home. I have a flight to Australia tomorrow and partner has flight to LA. Never again.’
During a similar incident earlier this summer, passengers at Heathrow were warned they may not be reunited with their bags for days as an enormous pile-up of luggage continued to grow due to an ‘issue with the baggage system’ at Terminal 2.
Staggering images showed how hundreds of bags were stacked together in what onlookers described as a ‘luggage carpet’ – just hours after Heathrow’s chief executive claimed travellers were only suffering ‘minor’ delays.
As the chaos rumbled on, with suitcases piling up for up to 10 days, passengers said the mountain of bags began to ‘stink’, with one traveller claiming: ‘It literally smells like poo.’
Heathrow says more than 99% of bags have travelled with their passengers over the last five years, which it describes as ‘one of the best performances of any major hub airport’.
British Airways has been approached for comment.
Source: Read Full Article