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"Business as usual" say Gatwick Airport following last weekend's baggage reclaim problems

Gatwick Airport say it's "business as usual" after extra staff were brought into deal with potential problems with baggage reclaim.

Hundreds of people were left waiting hours for their bags because of staff shortages last weekend. Baggage handling company Swissport has drafted in 40 extra workers to help cope with the demand and has apologised for the difficulties.

  1. National

'Business as usual' at Gatwick despite baggage fears

Staff at Gatwick Airport have said it is "business as usual" today despite fears over potential delays at baggage reclaim.

Passengers have so far avoided long delays in picking up their baggage at Gatwick. Credit: PA Wire

Extra workers had been drafted in as part of a contingency plan to avoid last weekend's disruption where passengers faced long delays to pick up their luggage.

"The average wait time in the hall this morning so far has been 30 minutes, which is no different to most other weekends," a Gatwick spokesman said.

"Going into the weekend we are not expecting any issues but we have put extra staff in place."


  1. National

40 extra baggage staff drafted in at Gatwick Airport

Forty extra baggage staff are being drafted in at Gatwick Airport to prevent any repeat of the chaos they experienced last weekend.

Passengers have been advised to pack important items in their hand luggage. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Staff shortages meant baggage-handling company Swissport was unable to cope with a succession of off-schedule arrivals late last Saturday night.

Arriving travellers were told to go home without their bags or face long delays.

But Swissport, who has apologised for the problems, said it had drafted in 40 extra staff to cope with demand this weekend, which is expected to be one of the airport's busiest.

Gatwick management is also laying on staff to assist with the baggage operation.

They stressed last week's problems only affected incoming flights and said they were expecting a "smooth weekend."

  1. National

Passengers told to pack essential items in hand luggage

Passengers have been told to pack essential items in their hand luggage to prepare for the possibility of more baggage chaos at Gatwick.

Hundreds of passengers were affected by the disruption last weekend. Credit: PA Wire

A spokeswoman for travel organisation Abta said today: "We hope people can pass through Gatwick smoothly this weekend. But if people are concerned it would be a good idea for them to put essential items in their carry-on bags.

"Both Gatwick and Swissport are putting on extra people and we are confident this should help address the problem."

  1. National

Gatwick baggage delays 'clearly a management failing'

The delays caused by baggage handling firm Swissport at Gatwick Airport are "clearly a management failure", according to the Shadow Transport Secretary.

Mary Creagh told Good Morning Britain there had been "a failure to plan adequately for the summer peak" and called for "strong action" by airports, airlines and Swissport/

Gatwick baggage issues affected 'too many passengers'

Gatwick said it was "disappointed that recent baggage issues have affected too many passengers", adding:

We have established service standards for our own staff, as well as for ground handling agents, who supply services to airlines such as unloading baggage from aircraft and delivering them to the baggage hall. Recently, Swissport has failed to meet these standards. Although bags are being delivered on time for 95% of flights, this is not good enough. This has been frustrating for passengers and we are disappointed with the recent arrival baggage service. Swissport has committed to getting this right, and we are working closely with them to help. Gatwick is providing additional staff.

– Gatwick Airport
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