Chaos: Thousands of passengers have been left without their bags thanks to an IT fault at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which left the complicated bag processing system out of order. Fliers landed in Africa and the U.S. without luggage after 30 miles of conveyor belts which usually move 12,000 bags a day were put out of action
So, which one is yours? Check-in chaos at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 after baggage belt BREAKS leaving thousands of passengers across the globe without their luggage
- Hundreds of bags were left piling up as struggling airport staff dealt with a huge backlog by hand
- Passengers bombarded British Airways with complaints as they landed in Africa and America with no bags
- BA has admitted it does not know how long it will take for passengers to get their possessions back
Passengers all around the world were left without their bags yesterday after a technical fault at Heathrow Terminal 5 left bags piled up in the departure lounge.
Staff struggled to deal with the huge backlog by hand as disgruntled fliers bombarded British Airways – the only airline which uses the terminal – with complaints.
Fliers were stranded without clothes and equipment as far away as Africa and the U.S., with BA still unable to say how many were affected or how long they will be without – but admitting thousands of bags were likely to be caught up in the blunder.
Pictures from the terminal yesterday show hundreds upon hundreds of bags lined up in the terminal after the 30 miles of conveyor belts which usually move 12,000 bags a day for the airline were put out of action by an IT fault.
Today airport bosses admitted that some of the baggage had failed to make it through – despite efforts to move it all by hand – and promised to get the bags back to their owners as soon as possible.
Rachel Memory said: ‘No baggage onboard flight from Heathrow to Vancouver. YVR [Vancouver airport] gave us no reference number – shambles’
Ted King, of Bishops Stortford, Essex, said: ‘Well done @British_Airways for leaving all our luggage in England, now in Uganda without any clothes.’
Kathryn Sharples said: ‘Please advise where bags from yesterday’s BA0778 [to Stockholm, Sweden] are. No answers from Menzies or BA CS phone lines. Poor.’
A British Airways spokesman told MailOnline: ‘On Thursday morning, the baggage system in Terminal 5 suffered an IT problem which affected how many bags could be accepted for each flight.
‘We are very sorry for the difficulties this has caused and we have been working hard with the airport to make sure we reunite all of our customers with their luggage as quickly as possible.’
The airline was left apologizing to customers who took them to task over Twitter. They declined to explain how many bags went missing, or how long it will take to move the baggage to their rightful homes.
Guidance issued online says that so many bags have gone missing that the usual lost luggage system will be unable to trace it properly. Passengers have been told that they can purchase essential items which BA will later reimburse.
A Heathrow spokesman said: ‘Yesterday Terminal 5’s baggage system experienced an IT issue which meant that bags were processed manually for a period. We are sorry to any passengers who were affected and we are working with airlines to reunite passengers with any bags that missed their flight.’
The baggage blunder comes just weeks after Heathrow opened its brand new Terminal 2 – the opening of which managed to avoid any disasters, helped in part by running the terminal at only one-tenth of its full capacity.
The difficulties are a reminder of Terminal 5’s ill-fated opening six years ago, where technical faults led to almost 30,000 bags being lost.
- Mail Online