Dream holidays! Passengers bed down at Bristol Airport while ‘unclaimed luggage’ lines the terminals at Heathrow… where desperate travellers are sent on ‘wild goose chase’ to find it
- Passengers have been forced to sleep on the floor in an attempt to beat queues from 4.30am this morning
- Customers have been desperate to reclaim their luggage which went missing a week ago from Heathrow
- Dozens of bags are still being left unclaimed as travellers are told airlines have ‘no idea’ where their luggage is
- ***Have you been affected by airport chaos? Email [email protected]***
Desperate passengers at Bristol Airport have been forced to sleep on the floor as travellers at Heathrow are forced on a wild goose chase to find their own luggage.
One traveller brought an air bed with them to Bristol as they battled to check-in this morning, as queues grew from as early as 4.30am.
Customers had shown up hours earlier than their flights in an attempt to battle the already long queues amid more travel chaos – with the London based airport having lines of ‘unclaimed baggage’ piling up in the terminals.
Heathrow was plunged into chaos in March as bosses struggled to hire enough staff amid widespread labour shortages in the UK in the wake of the pandemic.
British Airway staff are also threatening to strike, after unions rejected a 10 per cent pay offer in favour of walkouts as early as next month, potentially during the school holidays
Union barons claim the airline’s offer was a one-time ‘bonus’ and its members want a full-time raise.
The earliest date the strikes could happen is early July, but the unions have not announced a timescale, possibly in the hopes of pressuring BA bosses to cave in.
Pictures form inside Heathrow appear to show dozens of pieces of ‘unclaimed’ luggage just dumped around the carousels.
Other desperate travellers have been sent on a wild goose chase to track down their bags which was meant to land with them days ago.
Kate Hardcastle MBE was left without her luggage after boarding a flight from Cannes to Heathrow last week, and has been unable to find out where her belongings are for six days.
Passengers were forced to sleep on the floor as they waited to see if they would be able to travel at Bristol Airport this morning. They queued from 4.30am to see
Other customers were forced to bed down anywhere they could while waiting for more information on their flights in Bristol this morning. One even thought ahead to pack an air bed so they would be more comfortable
Hundreds of passengers packed into Heathrow’s Terminal 2, pictured, this morning as they attempted to check in for their flights. Less flights have been cancelled so far at the UK’s biggest airport, but travellers still arrived early for flights
Passengers at Bristol, pictured this morning, have been left waiting to see if they will be able to catch their flights. Those at Heathrow have been battling to get back their bags after luggage chaos this weekend
She was told by a British Airways member of staff that her bag had been put on a plane to Dublin, and arrived back in Terminal 2 – which has been worst affected by the luggage disruption.
The business expert said she had been told by staff on the ground at Heathrow they were advising their own families not to travel until November at the earliest.
Speaking to MailOnline Kate said: ‘I am genuinely worried for people who don’t travel as often as I do, I have been travelling for 20 years and you think nothing is going to phase you.
Business expert Kate Hardcastle, pictured, has said that she is ‘stunned’ by the silence from the CEO’s of the airlines who are struggling to retain staff to tackle the ongoing issues. Heathrow was first plunged into chaos in March as bosses struggled to hire enough staff amid widespread labour shortages in the UK in the wake of the pandemic
‘But this is chaotic. People coming for holidays that they have worked for for years have no idea what is in store for them. I was in Terminal 5 for two hours in the end when I landed last week from Cannes trying to get my bag.
‘It was chaos, they were pushing forms at people, really complex forms. BA haven’t been answering the phones for months as far as I understand it.
‘I had to pack a bag for four weeks as I will be travelling away for work for that period, and I have high value and sentimental items in there which have just gone.
‘Normally I would advise everyone to pack light and would do that myself, but I just couldn’t in my current situation. It is a complete goose chase, BA have said that they don’t know where in the world my bag is.
‘Today I arrived at Terminal 2 hoping to get it back, there were 13 people there before me who said that they had been there for hours and no one was answering from any airline.
‘I managed to track someone down from operations and we helped to get the people who had flown today’s bags back.
‘Staff members on the ground have said they are advising their own friends and family not to travel until November because of the chaos.
I’m just stunned by the silence of the CEO’s who have not said anything at all. The fact of the matter is that people in the UK have waited like Rapunzel in a tower for two years and they don’t deserve to be delayed or without their baggage.
‘Why no one at the top of the companies is not stepping up I don’t know. I am not one to criticise unduly, but if you aren’t even prepared to be on the front line and tough it out it’s not good enough.
‘People are quite rightly close to tears, I’m close to tears. I have no hope that I’ll get it back. People who live further away and have lost their baggage can’t even get back easily. I’m having to carry my stuff on in carrier bags.’
MailOnline has contacted British Airways for a comment. Heathrow are advising any passengers having issues with their baggage to contact the individual airlines.
It comes after a weekend of mayhem, with arrivals at Terminal 2 and 3 at Heathrow saw a sea of luggage spilling out across the airport as they landed from Amsterdam, Canada and India while staff reportedly told anxious customers ‘sorry, the whole industry in a mess’.
Airports have been plagued for months by check-in delays, flight cancellations and baggage issues at UK airports which experts have blamed on widespread staff shortages in the industry.
The news comes as thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers have threatened to plunge airports and airlines into yet more chaos during the school holidays.
Unions are asking over 16,000 workers if they want to join the more than 700 BA staff who have already committed to a walk-out over pay at Heathrow Airport during the summer.
Militant GMB and Unite unions have blamed ‘pig-headed’ aviation bosses for the dispute by imposing mass layoffs during the pandemic, while airlines were struggling.
The threat of the walk out comes after Mick Lynch’s RMT union unleashed a series of mass walkouts that brought the UK’s rail network to a standstill.
Downing Street has said that strikes by BA workers would add to the ‘misery’ passengers are already suffering at airports.
A No 10 spokesman added: ‘This is obviously a matter for British Airways and the unions and we would strongly encourage both to come together to find a settlement.
‘We don’t want to see any further disruption for passengers and strike action would only add to the misery being faced by passengers at airports.
Arrivals at Terminal 2 and 3 at Heathrow, pictured today, saw a sea of luggage spilling out across the airport as they landed from Amsterdam, Canada and India over the weekend while staff reportedly told anxious customers ‘sorry, the whole industry in a mess’
British people do not want to be baggage handlers, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary (pictured) has said
The low budget airline has been ‘completely unaffected’ by airport chaos this summer which has seen others British airlines cancel 1,000s of flights. Pictured: Hundreds of suitcases continue to mount up at Heathrow Terminal 2
‘DfT (Department for Transport) will obviously work closely to look at what contingency measures BA could put in place and we expect BA to put in place contingency measures to ensure that as little disruption is caused, and that where there is disruption that passengers can be refunded’.
Downing Street has previously argued it would be ‘reckless’ to raise public sector pay in line with inflation, as ministers defended reinstating the triple pensions lock while arguing in favour of wage restraint elsewhere.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said last week that that one of the issues with recruitment in the UK stems from ‘British people not wanting to be baggage handlers’ as he said his Irish company has not faced the same issues.
The low budget airline has been ‘completely unaffected’ by airport chaos this summer which has seen others British airlines cancel thousands of flights due in part to staff shortages.
In contrast, Mr O’Leary said Ryanair was prepared for the return of pre-Covid levels of travel because it could see the ‘recovery coming’ and got its staff back to work early.
He also claimed unlike his competitors, his Irish company can take advantage of the European Labour market and not be faced with British workers who do not want to ‘pick fruit or work in hospitality, security and baggage handling at airports’.
Ryanair is also contending with its own strike action in Europe as staff walked-out in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain this weekend.
Passengers have had months enduring check-in delays, flight cancellations and baggage issues at UK airports.
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