Baggage delays at Heathrow: airport cancels 100 flights with misery for 15,000 passengers


June 20, 2022, 09:05 | Updated: June 20, 2022, 10:57

A technical problem caused chaos during baggage handling over the weekend.

Photo: Alamy/Stuart Dempster

Thousands of holidaymakers will see their travel plans thrown into chaos after Heathrow asked airlines to cancel flights over a backlog of luggage and easyJet cut more of its summer trips.

A technical problem at Heathrow over the weekend left some passengers leaving without their bags and waiting up to two days to collect them.

Now Heathrow has asked airlines with flights from Terminals Two and Three to cancel 10% of their trips on Monday to help manage the disruption.

This means around 15,000 passengers on 90 flights will be affected as airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and British Airways cut services.

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About 15,000 people will see their movements affected

About 15,000 people will see their movements affected.

Photo: Aliyah

Also on Monday, EasyJet announced it was “proactively” canceling flights at Gatwick in response to a cap introduced by the airport – spelling travel chaos for thousands of holidaymakers this summer.

It comes after a weekend of disruption at Heathrow after a technical problem led to a backlog of baggage at the site’s Terminal 2.

Furious passengers took to social media over the weekend to share their frustration.

Photos showed the “huge baggage carousel” as travelers waited for the issue to be resolved.

Stuart Dempster, whose bag was part of the pile, said there was a two-hour delay in baggage claim.

“Two hour delays for T2 baggage claim from Heathrow Airport tonight apparently,” he tweeted.

“Welcome to Brittany!”

While another traveler, named Pia, said her bag was lost on her outbound flight. She was hoping to get it back on Saturday.

Meanwhile easyJet has canceled dozens of daily flights to Gatwick in recent weeks, including some when passengers were already on the plane.

He said he wanted to “build resilience” as the aviation sector across Europe experiences “operational issues”.

These include delays in air traffic control, staff shortages in ground handling services and at airports, and increased delays in identity checks for new recruits.

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Gatwick announced last week that it would reduce the number of daily flights in July and August to help with staffing issues.

A limit on flights has also been introduced by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

EasyJet said: “In response to these caps and in order to build resilience, easyJet is proactively consolidating a number of flights at affected airports.

“This gives customers advanced notice and the ability to rebook on alternative flights.”

The airline said it expects to be able to rebook “the majority” of passengers to other departures, “many being on the same day”.


The ‘huge baggage carousel’ was photographed at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2.

Photo: Stuart Dempster

EasyJet has admitted there will be a “cost impact” from the disruption, and the amount of money it is spending to operate each seat per non-fuel mile will “exceed” previous forecasts.

He said: “We believe these capacity/cost impacts are unique this summer as we expect all parties to build resilience in time for the 2023 peak periods.”

Flights to Gatwick have also been canceled

Flights to Gatwick have also been cancelled.

Photo: Aliyah

The carrier expects its capacity between April and June to be 87% of 2019 levels, rising to 90% in the following three months.

Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said: “Providing a safe and reliable operation for our customers in this challenging environment is easyJet’s top priority and we are sorry that for some customers we have not been able to provide the service they expect from us.

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“While in recent weeks the measures we have taken to build resilience have enabled us to continue to operate up to 1,700 flights and carry up to a quarter of a million customers per day, the difficult operating environment unfortunately continues to have an impact, which has led to cancellations.

“In addition to the airport caps, we are taking preventative measures to increase resilience over the remainder of the summer, including a series of further flight consolidations at affected airports, giving customers advance notice, and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours.

“We believe this is the right action to take so that we can deliver to all of our customers during the peak summer period in this challenging environment.”


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