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Christmas chaos at Heathrow: British Airways passengers are sent home before they can collect their bags


British Airways passengers are facing the “chaos” of travel before Christmas today at Heathrow Airport with canceled flights, queues at the border and a sea of ​​stranded baggage strewn across baggage reclaim.

Stunning photos and videos show bags scattered around the conveyor belts at Heathrow 5 yesterday evening, with one passenger describing it as a “complete mess”.

Some passengers have even been told to go home and leave their luggage at the airport – and send it to their address – rather than face long waits to get their bags.

Meanwhile, today at least six flights were canceled from London West London Airport. Pictures show long lines of people queuing for passport control at Heathrow Airport, which is operated by the UK Border Force.

British Airways chiefs blamed a combination of fog and staff shortages for Covid for the delays and said staff were working ‘extremely hard’ to fix the problems.

Heathrow says baggage in Terminal 5, which is used exclusively by British Airways and its sister airline Iberia, is the responsibility of British Airways.

The ‘chaos’ comes at one of the busiest times for air travel, as tens of thousands of people make their way to the UK to be with their families at Christmas.

It also comes as travelers arriving in the UK last week faced significant delays in the border hall at Heathrow after electronic gates were broken, leaving border staff to process thousands of passengers manually.

Stunning photos and videos show bags scattered around the conveyor belts at Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, with one passenger describing them as:

British Airways passengers are facing the “chaos” of travel before Christmas today at Heathrow Airport with canceled flights, queues at the border and a sea of ​​stranded baggage strewn across baggage reclaim.

Stunning photos and videos show bags scattered around the conveyor belts at Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, with one passenger describing them as:

Stunning photos and videos show bags scattered around conveyor belts at Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, with one passenger describing them as a ‘complete mess’.

Today at least six flights were canceled from London's West London airport, while photos show long lines of people queuing for border control at Heathrow Airport.

British Airways chiefs have blamed a combination of fog and staff shortages due to Covid for the delays

Today at least six flights were canceled from London West London Airport, while photos show long lines of people standing in line at border control at Heathrow Airport. British Airways chiefs have blamed a combination of fog and staff shortages due to Covid for the delays.

Heathrow passengers also took to Twitter to share photos of people queuing in the aisles waiting to get into Passport Control.

Heathrow passengers also took to Twitter to share photos of people queuing in the aisles waiting to get into Passport Control.

But after last week’s turmoil, delays occurred again yesterday at Heathrow, with British Airways chiefs blaming fog on Sunday morning for delaying their flight schedule.

Airlines chiefs said flights were delayed or canceled due to poor visibility, causing significant delays throughout the day and into last night.

They say this has been made worse by a wave of Covid-related illnesses and staff being forced to self-isolate.

MailOnline realized that the delays got so bad at one point that passengers were asked to go home and leave their luggage at the airport for British Airways staff to collect and send to their address.

This resulted in a sea of ​​unclaimed baggage piling up next to conveyor belts before being towed together and moved to safety.

But some passengers told MailOnline that their luggage was lost. A passenger who flew into Heathrow last night took to Twitter to share his experience.

Jack Lawrence, MSc student in biomedical sciences, wrote on twitterLarge queues to get out of the airport for those whose flights have also been cancelled.

It appears that baggage from all canceled flights is also tossed on the same baggage cart. There is so much clutter in bags – both from canceled flights and actual flights that British Airways is now suggesting people go home and file a lost baggage claim.

Others described the situation as “total chaos”. Natalia Kaliada said on Twitter: “Mass chaos at Heathrow. Huge delays in getting baggage.

There is no system in place. People are highly recommended to leave without their luggage. Christmas atmosphere!

Another passenger wrote: “BA – We have just started our honeymoon with our bags stuck at Heathrow, your customer service phone line is not open and the lost bag reporting system will only allow us to report one of our bags.”

Meanwhile, British Airways flights to Malaga, Barcelona, ​​Glasgow and Amsterdam were canceled from Heathrow Airport today.

One flight to Germany, which yesterday imposed a travel ban on British tourists, was also cancelled.

A British Airways spokesperson told MailOnline: “We have apologized to customers whose flights have been canceled due to operational restrictions.

“Our teams are working very hard to rebook our customers and are on their way as quickly as possible.”

There have also been reported delays at border control, with photos last night showing long queues when approaching passport control.

One passenger wrote: “Heathrow needs to pull up his pants. It’s a mess.

Border control is the responsibility of the Border Force, which is within the purview of the Ministry of the Interior, who were contacted for comment. Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport said the problems at Terminal 5 were due to individual airlines.

This comes after passengers stormed Heathrow Airport last week, with huge queues creeping through the airport.

Passengers claimed there were up to 4,000 people backed up at passport control due to another electronic gate crash.

They said they had been waiting for hours to get to the immigration area when it normally takes about six minutes.

Passengers claimed there were up to 4,000 people backed up at passport control (pictured today) due to another electronic gate crash

Passengers claimed there were up to 4,000 people backed up at passport control (pictured today) due to another electronic gate crash

They said they had been waiting for hours to get to the immigration area as it would normally take about six minutes (pictured today)

They said they had been waiting for hours to get to the immigration area as it would normally take about six minutes (pictured today)

John Grimshaw returns to Britain from his home in Chicago for his mother’s funeral and falls into disarray.

He said thousands of passengers were queuing to get to passport control and called Heathrow a “joke”.

He told MailOnline: “I just arrived from Chicago. The gates are going down again, and thousands of people are lining up for passport control.

‘What the f***. I paid thousands for a business class ticket and it doesn’t matter. This place is a joke. I have just been told that the portals are down and they are being worked on.

I’m at the place where I would normally be a six minute walk to the immigration area and we just stood there. There may be three to four thousand people here.

He added: ‘More than ten wide-body aircraft have arrived, with more than 300 aircraft each. This is unacceptable for this country’s main airport.

Others criticized Heathrow for the traffic on social media, with one saying it was “adding more stress to an already stressful situation”.

Jerry Green wrote on Twitter: “I was in the immigration queue at Heathrow today, no social distancing, hot and sweaty, only two people checking passports.

Then another six appear. No riots only comments about tea breaks etc. British humor is still present, despite the fungus treatment.

One person wrote online: “Isn’t there a way to improve queues and wait times for check-in at T2 Heathrow?”

Teaching assistant Maan Harbi added last night: “We are supposed to leave at 15:00, but we are still on the ground at 17:00 due to a technical problem in the baggage system.”

Meanwhile, Britons have criticized Heathrow for the extra cost of parking their cars while they are in hotel quarantine before the rules change this morning.

Graham Elsie said he would have to pay £350 on top of his £2,450 stay in isolation due to the expensive car park at the airport.

He told The Telegraph: “My wife and I fell into a quarantine hotel disaster and arrived on December 8th. I tried to extend my T5 Heathrow Long Term position at 9, but was unable to do so online because my holding period was lapsed.

“I now have the potential to pay £33 a day for the extra days which means I’ll have a bill of over £350 when the original term was around £140 for 21 days.”

“My wife and I are retired and you can probably appreciate the impact of the hotel quarantine fee on our finances, so this extra hit is really painful,” he added.





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