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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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.

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