Luggage mayhem at Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is bringing in its own staff to help with the luggage crisis amid fears there could be further travel chaos this weekend.

Staff shortages affecting baggage-handling company Swissport led to some passengers at the West Sussex airport having to fly abroad without their luggage last weekend.

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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.

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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."

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Gatwick passengers advised to take essential items in hand luggage

Passengers are being advised to take essential items in their hand luggage Credit: ITV NEWS

Passengers flying into Gatwick this weekend are being warned to carry any essential items in their hand luggage following the delays with baggage reclaim last week.

Staff-shortage problems meant baggage-handling company Swissport was unable to cope with a succession of off-schedule arrivals at Gatwick late last Saturday night. Arriving travellers were told to go home without their bags and there were delays of several hours for those choosing to wait for their luggage.

Swissport, which has apologised for the difficulties, has drafted in 40 extra staff to cope with the demand this weekend. And Gatwick management is also laying on staff to assist with the baggage operation having been critical of Swissport's performance.

In the meantime, travel organisation Abta has advised passengers to pack important items in their carry-on, hand luggage.

And Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways' parent company IAG, has said that Swissport had "some issues at Gatwick that they need to address, and if they don't address them to our satisfaction then we have options". Mr Walsh said he was confident that Swissport would resolve their difficulties, while Gatwick management, stressing that last week's problems only affected incoming flights, also said they were expecting a smooth weekend.

'Measures put in place' following Gatwick baggage crisis

Holidaymakers flying from Gatwick this weekend are being urged to pack essential items in their hand luggage after another warning of possible delays.

The baggage handling firm, Swissport, have recruited extra staff to help deal with any problems.

Last weekend hundreds of passengers were left waiting hours for their luggage because of staff shortages.

We speak to Willie Walsh from the International Airlines Group.

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Swissport deny zero-hours contracts caused problems

Baggage handling company Swissport has denied claims zero-hours contracts were to blame for the disruption at Gatwick Airport last weekend.

Staff shortages at the company forced hundreds of passengers to go home without their luggage and left others waiting for up to five hours to reclaim their bags at the airport on July 27.

The scene at Gatwick Airport last weekend. Credit: @sophiewood64

The firm told ITV News' Chris Choi the "suggestion that issues may have been caused by zero hour contracts is untrue".

Despite warnings that passengers could face yet more problems this weekend, Swissport said all services this morning were meeting targets.

"Baggage services to client airlines to 7am this morning was good and within its targets. There were no appreciable delays," the company said.

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Luggage mayhem at Sussex airport

Mr Sargent, 23, who landed on a Thomson Airways flight at 1.25am on Sunday, told the Daily Telegraph: "I was left stranded in baggage reclaim. I was not asking for special treatment, just to be able to freely move around the terminal and use the toilet."

Another traveller had still not got his suitcase by the middle of this week having flown to Paphos in Cyprus last weekend

Bags on 95% of scheduled flights into Gatwick are delivered to passengers in the reclaim halls within 55 minutes. We want all bags on all flights to be delivered within this timeframe and so are working closely with the small number of airlines which employ Swissport to help improve the baggage delivery service.

Gatwick will continue to carefully monitor Swissport's performance and offer assistance to them as required over the remainder of the summer to minimise the impact on passengers and safeguard our expected level service."

– Gatwick airport spokesman

Luggage crisis hits Gatwick airport

Gatwick Airport is bringing in its own staff to help with the luggage crisis amid fears there could be further travel chaos this weekend.

Staff shortages affecting baggage-handling company Swissport led to some passengers at the West Sussex airport having to fly abroad without their luggage last weekend.

Gatwick Airport is bringing in its own staff to help with the luggage crisis Credit: ITV Meridian
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