Heathrow airport chaos: Passengers’ holiday plans affected amid missing baggage fiasco

“Everyone just tries to pass you off and say talk to these people, but then you stand in line for an hour-and-a-half and they don’t know why you are there.”

<p>Baggage chaos at Heathrow. Photo: Twitter via You are not a Gadget @etceteria</p>

Baggage chaos at Heathrow. Photo: Twitter via You are not a Gadget @etceteria

Thousands of furious Heathrow Airport passengers had their holiday plans thrown into chaos by a huge missing baggage fiasco.

Some frustrated travellers have been waiting for up to a week with no word on what has happened to their belongings.

Sign up to our LondonWorld Today newsletter

They were queuing today {Monday, June 20) outside baggage reclaim in Terminal 2 where airport staff were taking them through in groups of five to see if they could dig out their suitcases from the massive piles of missing luggage.

Meanwhile, a voice on the airport’s loudspeaker system repeated the message: “For security reasons, baggage left unattended will be removed and destroyed.”

Baggage chaos at Heathrow. Photo: Twitter via You are not a Gadget @etceteria

David Mann was standing in line with two friends waiting to use the phone at baggage reclaim.

He said: “We came in from Toronto yesterday morning (Sunday, June 19), our bags did not.

"We were told to come back here today and stand in this line and see if we could get them.

“We believe they are sitting on the other side of this wall, but there is no information or security here to take people through.

“I have to call this number and hope that someone picks up. We have tried already, but no-one has answered.”

The 39-year-old real estate worker from the US said when he arrived there were thousands of bags lying around.

He added: “If we get our bags we are going to go to Scotland tomorrow but, if not, I don’t know.”

Kevin McLoughlin, 60, said that when he arrived in Heathrow on a layover to Brussels from the US, he found his luggage was missing, though his wife has hers.

He said: “They do not have a systematic approach to tracking bags.

"I gave them my bag tag numbers and they were overwhelmed.

“Everyone just tries to pass you off and say talk to these people, but then you stand in line for an hour-and-a-half and they don’t know why you are there.

“United Airlines says my suitcases are here. The airport staff say they are overwhelmed, they have thousands of bags to sort through.

“United said it could take five or six hours, but they did not bother to take our contact information so I had to push them, saying what, I’m supposed to sit here and wait twiddling my thumbs?”

Patria Fopiano, from LA, has been waiting for her bags for a week. She came to the UK to see family and friends.

She said: “I am waiting to get my tickets scanned to look for my bags.

“I arrived on Tuesday June 14 from Florence via Munich to get here.

“Missed flights, came in late, got an email from Lufthansa saying my bags did not make my plane so I came back to Heathrow on Thursday last week.

“They could not tell me whether my bags were scanned or where they were. Lufthansa is very unhelpful.

“I have no clothing except what I wore and I don’t like shopping, I’m here to visit and have a bit of a holiday.”

Aussie tourists Sheila Wyldbore, 68, and her daughter Georgia, 26, are only in London for two nights before flying to Copenhagen in Denmark to begin a cruise around Scandinavia and Iceland before returning to Brisbane.

Sheila said: “We arrived yesterday and we are leaving tomorrow afternoon.

"We were supposed to meet her godfather for lunch, but we have had to cancel that to see if the suitcases are here.

“If not, we will be leaving for Denmark with no suitcases and then eventually back to Australia.”

She added that her daughter’s door keys are in her missing suitcase and that if the airline does not deliver the bags to their hotel in Copenhagen tomorrow, they will have to return to Australia without them.

She continued: “Everyone is trying so hard, but no one is helpful.

"Swiss Air says talk to Heathrow and Heathrow says talk to Swiss Air.

“I worked as airline staff in the 1970s and 1980s and bags sometimes went missing, but they always found their way back to you.

“The airline is very unhelpful. They give you a phone number but it doesn’t go anywhere. I’m sure they are all very tired from the last few weeks but this is their job.

“This is not our home, we can’t keep coming back.”

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, June 20.

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