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Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours and leave airport without bags

Storms wreak havoc at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours before leaving the airport without bags after ‘severe weather conditions prevented them from being unloaded from planes’

  • Passengers whose bags could not be collected were asked to fill in forms
  • Chaos was compounded by ‘belt failure’ problems at the airport
  • A number of frustrated flyers took to social media to share their experience

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Passengers queued for hours last night to collect their luggage at Heathrow, and many had to be sent home without luggage after a storm wreaked havoc at the airport.

Travelers had to wait patiently in line at Terminal 5 to find out whether or not they could pick up their belongings, as handlers were unable to unload their luggage due to the harsh weather that raged in London overnight.

Passengers whose bags could not be collected during that period were asked by British Airways to complete missing bag forms and go home.

Baggage is the responsibility of airlines that directly employ or outsource ground handlers to provide the service, Heathrow said.

However, the chaos was compounded as the airport added that it had previously experienced problems “due to a belt failure”, which has since been resolved.

A number of frustrated flyers took to social media overnight to share their experience.

Passengers queued for hours last night to collect their luggage at Heathrow - and many had to be sent home without any bags at all

Passengers queued for hours last night to collect their luggage at Heathrow – and many had to be sent home without any bags at all

Travelers had to wait patiently in line at Terminal 5 to find out whether or not they could pick up their belongings

Travelers had to wait patiently in line at Terminal 5 to find out whether or not they could pick up their belongings

Travelers had to wait patiently in line at Terminal 5 to find out whether or not they could pick up their belongings

Handlers could not unload their luggage due to the storm that raged in London overnight

Handlers could not unload their luggage due to the storm that raged in London overnight

Handlers could not unload their luggage due to the storm that raged in London overnight

Passengers whose bags could not be collected during that period were asked by British Airways to complete missing bag forms and go home

Passengers whose bags could not be collected during that period were asked by British Airways to complete missing bag forms and go home

Passengers whose bags could not be collected during that period were asked by British Airways to complete missing bag forms and go home

Some passengers reported staff shortages at British Airways counters as the chaos erupted

Some passengers reported staff shortages at British Airways counters as the chaos erupted

Some passengers reported staff shortages at British Airways counters as the chaos erupted

One of them wrote: ‘No employees on the Heathrow baggage claim, so no one is getting bags tonight…it could take 48/72 hours and no help being given. Terrible.’

Another said: ‘Shambles at @HeathrowAirport tonight. Took 1 hour 45 minutes to get off the plane and proceed to reclaim the luggage. Then the ridiculous announcement that no more bags will be unloaded tonight due to ‘a storm’. Miserable. Just admit you don’t have enough staff. #heathrow #heathrowairport’

A third added: ‘The last 2 flights to @HeathrowAirport meant over an hour waiting for luggage. Wait 25 minutes now. This might be better than Gatwick, but give me one reason why I’d choose to fly from Heathrow again.”

Another frustrated passenger wrote: ‘#britishairways just told 5+ planes belonging to people at Heathrow their bags wouldn’t be unloaded tonight and going home. I have a flight to Australia tomorrow and my partner has a flight to LA. Never again.’

In a similar incident earlier this summer, passengers at Heathrow were warned that they might not be reunited with their bags for days as a huge pile of luggage continued to grow due to a ‘baggage system problem’ in Terminal 2.

Stunning footage showed hundreds of bags piled on top of one another in what onlookers described as a ‘luggage carpet’ – just hours after Heathrow’s chief executive claimed travelers suffered only ‘minor’ delays.

1662635961 325 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

1662635961 325 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

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1662635961 110 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

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1662635961 514 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

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1662635961 67 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

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1662635961 79 Storms cause chaos at Heathrow as passengers queue for hours

As the chaos continued, with suitcases piling up for up to 10 days, passengers said the mountain of bags was starting to “stink,” with one traveler claiming, “It literally smells like poop.”

Heathrow says over 99% of baggage has traveled with their passengers in the past five years, describing it as “one of the best performance of any major hub airport.”

A British Airways spokesperson said: ‘Due to adverse weather conditions at London Heathrow it was not safe last night to remove our customers’ suitcases from some of our aircraft.

“The safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority. We have apologized to customers whose bags have been delayed and are working to get their bags to them as soon as possible.”

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