Technical issues at Heathrow have left passengers facing long queues and some forced to fly without luggage as hundreds descend on the airport for half-term getaways.
The airport suffered issues with its baggage system in Terminal 5 on Saturday morning, which is understood to have lasted for a few hours.
Some said they were told to put essential items in hand luggage instead as their bags “may not arrive” at their destination.
A Heathrow spokesperson told The Independent the issues “meant a small number of people who departed from Terminal 5 may have travelled without their luggage”.
Apologising for the disruption, they added: “We are working closely with British Airways to reunite passengers with their luggage as soon as possible.”
The issue was resolved at around 10.30am on Saturday – the day after schools in England and Wales broke up for half-term.
One man flying with British Airways said his luggage had not been delivered to his destination in a tweet on Saturday.
Last time left UK Feb 2020 @British_Airways #failed to deliver my luggage to destination. First time since pandemic on a plane @British_Airways have again #failed to deliver luggage to destination. Again left to my own devices to resolve problem! Shocking customer service.
— Nick Rose (@Nickjhr) October 23, 2021
Others shared a message they had received from British Airways, warning them an issue with Heathrow’s system meant their bags “may not travel”.
Passengers were told to complete a form if their baggage was delayed and to keep receipts for essential items they would have to buy in the meantime.
“Been told to put essentials in hand luggage as bags may not arrive,” one woman who received a message from the airline tweeted. “Happy half term!”
Travellers also took to social media to complain about long queues as they embarked on half-term holidays, with one user saying they were “excessive”.
Some practical #customerexperience advice for @HeathrowAirport @British_Airways after chaos this AM with baggage belt breakdown & excessive queues. 1) in a service recovery situ, it is OK to use the PA system. While that is not the T5 way, customers need clear consistent info
— Sally Alington (@sallyethos) October 23, 2021
A British Airways spokesperson told The Independent: “For a few hours this morning, Heathrow Airport’s baggage system experienced an issue causing delays to some customers’ baggage departing on their flight.”
They added: “We are doing everything we can to get their baggage to them as quickly as possible.”
British Airways told The Independent customers travelling later in the day were contacted as a precaution.