Meltdown at Heathrow as BA passengers are left queuing over an HOUR to check-in their bags after chaos last night forced those returning to go home without their luggage
- Over 25 British Airways flights cancelled today amid another day of travel chaos
- Yesterday, BA passengers were told their luggage will not be returned to them
- Passengers have reported being unable to use the baggage reporting system
- BA apologised, saying its teams ‘are working hard’ to return customers’ baggage
- And today customers have spent over an hour and half at baggage check-in
- Have you been caught out by the problems at Heathrow? Please email [email protected]
There has been a meltdown at Heathrow Airport as BA passengers have been left queuing over an hour to check-in their bags after chaos last night forced those returning to go home without their luggage.
There was ‘not enough staff to explain what was going on’ and a lot of the desks looked ‘unmanned’ at baggage check-in at Terminal 5 as passengers had a long wait just to catch flights.
Yesterday, BA cancelled more than 25 flights and delayed even more as ‘operational issues’ was blamed for the mayhem.
Last month, passengers were also hit by chaos from BA as more than 500 flights were cancelled or delayed after the airline suffered its biggest IT meltdown for years.
Today’s ‘operational’ issues also extended later in the afternoon today as customers on the ground reported that there were not enough staff to handle the crowds coming to check in baggage at Terminal 5.
One person still waiting to check in baggage at around 4.50pm after a more than hour wait said BA had gone from four to three manned desks for a Singapore flight.
Despite these huge queues, mainly in the afternoon, it seems no one so far has reported missing their flight and BA has apologised for today and yesterday’s disruption.
Huge queues were seen at Terminal 5 for British Airways flights out of London’s Heathrow Airport
BA also cancelled more than 25 flights and delayed even more as ‘operational issues’ computer glitch was blamed for the mayhem
British Airways looked empty after flights hundreds of passengers were forced to go home yesterday without their luggage in another chaotic day at Heathrow Airport
Please email [email protected]
Sarah Hartley, travel editor at the Mail on Sunday, said staff were ‘caught on the backfoot, passengers like me have been waiting in the queue for an hour and a half to drop luggage’.
She added: ‘If there had been enough staff to explain what was going on or even all the desks manned then we wouldn’t feel as one fellow passenger said ‘shabbily treated’.
She said staff told her at Heathrow Airport that they are ‘really understaffed but are in the recruitment process’.
And as more people are flying again, the staff member claimed it would ‘take time’ to meet demand.
And as one passenger said, ‘BA sold the tickets they must have known we were coming.’
The airline told the MailOnline in a statement on the flight cancellations and baggage issues: ‘We’ve apologised to customers whose bags were delayed yesterday.
‘We know how frustrating this is and our teams are working incredibly hard to return luggage as soon as possible.
‘We’re really sorry that we have had to reduce the number of flights today due to operational constraints.
‘Our teams are working extremely hard to get our customers to their destinations as quickly as possible and we are in contact to offer alternative options including a full refund.’
Today, some customers said they were unable to get in touch with the airline to find out what happened to their luggage and flight cancellations.
Airing their frustration on Twitter, Steve Regis said last night: ‘The home of British Airways, where they leave you stranded after missing a connecting flight, where the only BA Rep says ‘not my problem, I’m going home, call this number but they won’t answer because it’s closed.’
‘Your flight crew-fantastic but ground crew-embarrassing.’
Alexander Bennett said: ‘BA luggage handlers gone home! Two hours after landing at the UK’s and BA’s premier terminal 5 at LHR no bags anywhere to be seen for not just our flight but multiple flights!
‘No staff to open the hold! Outrageous and atrocious service!’
Ivan Spungle said today: ‘Chaos at Heathrow tonight. I still haven’t made it home.
‘I have video of one of your employees last night telling me to get a hotel, bill you for it, and return this morning to pick up my luggage.
‘Now just been told my bag is not even at Heathrow any more. This just isn’t good enough. What now?’
Iain Mercer said today: ‘You’ve cancelled my 2.05pm flight back to Edinburgh today and rebooked me to Glasgow tomorrow morning. Eh?! Your call centre won’t take calls and [I’ve been] disconnected. How do I cancel and get a refund?’
BA apologised saying their ‘working hard’ to return baggage
Dan Deefolts said he had been having respite in Italy after a funeral when his flight was delayed and he arrived back in Heathrow at 1am to find he had no baggage.
Speaking to the MailOnline today, he said: ‘My flight was delayed, and the delay was never communicated to passengers prior to arriving at the airport.
I didn’t receive any text or email alert. Upon arrival, the pilot couldn’t park the plane as there was no ground crew. It was absolute chaos in the baggage reclaim area.
‘It remains unclear as to why so many flights were delayed and allowed to go ahead if they were already aware of operational issues.
‘It’s been more than 12 hours and I am yet to be reunited with my luggage.’
Philip Ingman said his flight at 8.30pm was fine until they entered the ‘chaos’ of the baggage hall.
He said: ‘After an hour and a half, they announced about 25 flights from which baggage would not be arriving. More chaos.
‘Our flight wasn’t on that list and BA staff assured me our bags would eventually arrive. By 11.30pm still no bags and after three hours waiting. We were then told they wouldn’t be arriving.
‘The reason given was staff shortages, not a glitch.
‘Website was clunky and wouldn’t let you set up baggage claim. I eventually managed to get that done this morning.
‘We shall now be avoiding BA and T5 as it seems the baggage handlers are employed there by BA and not Heathrow.
Some other passengers have also reportedly been unable to use BA’s baggage reporting system, which the airline did apologise for.
A statement from BA said: ‘The majority of customers have been able to use the baggage report system, but we are investigating an issue that some customers are experiencing.
‘We appreciate how frustrating this is and are sorry for the inconvenience.’
Some who were rebooked on flights like Stuart Rennie also said BA had later cancelled their flights.
He said there was ‘no availability’ all day from British Airways and he was not sure what to do about his flight tomorrow.
Another passenger said: ‘What has BA come to?
‘Travelling BA409 yesterday, March 19. Late departure, late arrival, wait for jetty then to top it all NO baggage. This is not the airline I have travelled the world with over the past years. Sort yourselves out guys. Please.’
Lynn Henderson from Glasgow was upset that her son and husband have to buy new clothes for a Tottenham game.
She told BA on Twitter: ‘Can you reply to this please? As my husband and son are down for a hospitality game with no clothes.
‘Will you be reimbursing payment for the clothes they’ve had to purchase? You should be ashamed of yourselves as you have spoiled my son’s birthday weekend.’
The news comes as passenger locator were scrapped on Friday and pre-travel tests for unvaccinated people were also abolished.
Despite this there have also been some reports today that UK border force queues were very long at Heathrow, causing more woe for passengers.
Heathrow Airport said on Twitter: ‘Border Force are currently experiencing some delays processing passengers through the UK border.
‘Apologies for any inconvenience caused, please rest assured that our colleagues are working hard and liaising with Border Force to reduce delays.’
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