Heathrow asks airlines to cancel 10% of flights today as baggage piles up

Business

Heathrow has asked airlines to cancel 10% of their flights today as the airport faces a baggage backlog.

It comes after hundreds of passengers were left waiting for over three hours during the weekend to retrieve their luggage.

Airlines have been given the option of consolidating their flights at Heathrow – meaning that instead of cancelling 10% of services they could move passengers on to other flights to ensure they get away.

It is only a request at this stage so it is up to carriers to decide whether they will comply.

Airlines that have cancelled flights today include Virgin Atlantic, Flybe, Air France, Air Canada, TAP Portugal, Loganair, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Brussels Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Aer Lingus, ITA Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, KLM and Bulgaria Air.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We apologise unreservedly for the disruption passengers have faced over the course of this weekend.

“The technical issues affecting baggage systems have led to us making the decision to request airlines operating in Terminals 2 and 3 to consolidate their schedules on Monday 20th June.

More on Heathrow Airport

“This will enable us to minimise ongoing impact and we ask that all passengers check with their airlines for the latest information.”

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People waiting ‘hours’ for luggage at Heathrow

Heathrow, like airports and airlines across the country, is grappling with staff shortages during the busiest season of the year, which have led to hundreds of flights being cancelled in recent weeks.

On Friday, an “enormous luggage carpet” was spotted outside a Heathrow terminal, as staff grappled with an “ongoing issue with the baggage system”.

Travellers told Sky News there were huge queues at border control upon landing and large crowds at baggage reclaim over the weekend.

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Luggage chaos at Heathrow

Meanwhile, EasyJet announced plans to cut more flights over the busy summer period, as it apologised to customers for failing to “deliver the service they have come to expect from us”.

A number of flights will be cancelled into and out of Gatwick in response to the airport’s announcement last week that it would introduce flight caps in July and August to help it cope with a staff shortage.

The airline has blamed staff shortages in ground handling and at airports, as well as air traffic control delays for increased turnaround times, delayed flights and cancellations.

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