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Gatwick Airport 'not anticipating baggage problems'

Gatwick Airport has said it is not anticipating any baggage issues this weekend.

The airport said it had "robust contingency plans" in place, with 60 extra staff on standby to support baggage handlers Swissport.

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Thomas Cook 'working to prevent baggage delays'

Airline Thomas Cook has said it is working to ensure its customers do not experience baggage delays at Gatwick Airport.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told ITV News that the company was disappointed that recent baggage issues - which led to delays of up to four hours last weekend - had affected "too many passengers".

Gatwick is drafting in its own staff to help with baggage handling following issues with baggage handling firm Swissport.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

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.

Walsh 'to look at other options' if Gatwick issues remain

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways parent company IAG, has told ITV News he is prepared to look at other options if baggage handlers Swissport fail to resolve their issues at Gatwick Airport.

Gatwick said Swissport had "failed to meet standards" after hundreds of passengers faced long delays to reclaim their baggage last weekend.

"I think they (Swissport) have some issues at Gatwick that they need to address, and if they don't address them to our satisfaction then we have options," he told ITV News' Chris Choi.

"At this stage we are working with them. We are satisfied they are putting the right measures in place and I'm confident they will resolve them

"If they don't we will certainly look at other opportunities."

Willie Walsh apologises for Gatwick baggage disruption

International Airlines chief executive Willie Walsh has apologised to passengers for the baggage problems at Gatwick Airport.

Mr Walsh told ITV News that he will consider other options if baggage handling firm Swissport fail to resolve the problems that caused widespread disruption last weekend.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi tweeted:

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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."

Ryanair: 'We need everyone to pull together'

Ryanair have urged Gatwick Airport, Swissport and remaining baggage staff to "pull together" so passengers stand some hope of getting their bags back quickly.

Deputy director of flight operations, Peter Bellows told Good Morning Britain they had told Swissport their service was "awful" for both passengers and airlines.

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: Swissport has 'failed to meet standards'

The baggage handling firm behind four hour delays for Gatwick's arrivals passengers have "failed to meet standards", officials from the airport have said.

The spokesman for the airport said they were working "closely" with Swissport and was bringing in additional staff.

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. Although we are not permitted to unload the aircraft, we are assisting with transport of bags to the terminal and the unloading of bags onto belts.

We've also introduced a free baggage home delivery service for those who prefer not to wait.

– Spokesman for Gatwick Airport
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