Gatwick Airport officials apologised after a staff shortage forced hundreds of passengers to go home without their baggage and left others waiting for up to five hours to reclaim their luggage.
We're sorry to passengers affected by baggage delays last night. We provided welfare for passengers + extra staff to help Swissport 1/5
A Gatwick Airport spokesman blamed "resourcing issues" and staff shortages with baggage handlers Swissport for the delays.
He said: "Gatwick provided extra staff to help the airlines and their baggage handlers improve their service, as well as providing welfare and water for passengers waiting in the baggage areas, but we are sorry for the delays they faced." Swissport was unavailable for immediate comment.
Officials at Gatwick later said passengers will be reunited with their luggage within the next 48 hours, and that baggage reclaim at the airport had returned to normal.
They added: "Passengers able to return to (the) airport can also collect bags. Staff at Skybreak ticket desk in North and South terminal will be able to assist."
More top news
Emily Middlemas has been kicked out in the X Factor semi-finals - leaving 5 After Midnight, Saara Aalto and Matt Terry through to the finals
Prince Harry has visited a children's home founded by the controversial religious sect known as the Moonies during his tour of the Caribbean
Cloud continues rolling in from the west overnight which, combined with fresher winds will keep temperatures above freezing here.