Luggage chaos at Heathrow as passengers told they may not get bags back for 2 days

18 June 2022, 10:36 | Updated: 18 June 2022, 11:16

The "enormous luggage carpet" was pictured at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2.
The "enormous luggage carpet" was pictured at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2. Picture: Stuart Dempster

By Sophie Barnett

Passengers have been told they may not get their luggage back for two days after a sea of bags piled up at Heathrow Airport following a technical malfunction.

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Heathrow Airport has apologised after a technical glitch caused a mass of suitcases to pile up at Terminal 2 on Friday.

The technical glitch - which has now been fixed - meant many passengers had issues checking in, and some of those who departed from Terminal 2 travelled without their luggage.

The airport said they are working closely with airlines to reunite passengers with their luggage.

Passengers photographed the "enormous luggage carpet" as they waited for the problem to be fixed at the west London site.

Stuart Dempster, whose bag was among the pile up, said there were two hour delays at baggage reclaim.

"Two-hour delays for Heathrow Airport T2 baggage reclaim tonight apparently," he tweeted. "Welcome back to Britain!"

While another traveller, named Pia, said her bag was lost on her outbound flight and she hopes to collect it on Saturday.

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She replied to Stuart's photograph of the sea of suitcases, tweeting: "My bag got lost on my outbound flight. Found it in your picture. thanks for sharing it, at least I know it's there... somewhere, hopefully I'll be able to collect it tomorrow"

Deborah Haynes, defence and security editor for Sky News, witnessed the “enormous luggage carpet” after arriving from Brussels on Friday evening.

She said: "The warning signs that all was not well were clear at baggage claim. There were clusters of suitcases without owners grouped around various conveyor belts.

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The bags at Heathrow Airport.
The bags at Heathrow Airport. Picture: Stuart Dempster

"I wondered where the owners were."

Ms Haynes had been asked to put her hand luggage in the plane’s hold before the flight.

She said she only had to wait “a little” while for it after landing in London.

It was described as "chaos" by some passengers.
It was described as "chaos" by some passengers. Picture: Stuart Dempster

She added: "Then when I stepped outside I could see this crazy mass of suitcases filling the pavement like an enormous luggage carpet. I’ve never seen anything like it."

Another Sky News editor said: "Passengers are being told they may not get their luggage for two days.

"One passenger was overheard saying 'but I'm climbing Kilimanjaro tomorrow I need all my stuff'."

A Heathrow spokesperson said on Friday: "Earlier today there was a technical issue with the Terminal 2 baggage system which has now been resolved. Passengers are now able to check-in as normal, but a number of passengers who departed from Terminal 2 earlier today may have travelled without their luggage. We are working closely with airlines to reunite passengers with their luggage as soon as possible. We’re sorry there’s been disruption to passenger journeys.”

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