PASSENGERS LEFT WITHOUT LUGGAGE ABROAD AFTER MANCHESTER AIRPORT CHAOS

Passengers hit by travel chaos at Britain's third-biggest airport faced an anxious wait for baggage today after a power cut forced more than 100 flights to be cancelled.

The outage at Manchester Airport in the early hours of yesterday caused disruption to luggage processing, with thousands of travellers flying without their hold bags.

Planes took off without hold luggage, with holidaymakers reaching destinations with just their carry-on items and now waiting for their other bags to catch up with them.

Some people were desperately hoping that essential medication would reach them abroad today, while many needed a change of clothes or even outfits for weddings.

A total of 66 outbound flights (25 per cent of all departures) and 50 inbound (18 per cent) were axed yesterday, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.

Airport bosses insisted flights are expected to 'run as usual' today after more than 90,000 people were affected when the two-hour outage caused huge queues.

However there were still some significant delays to flights this morning, including a 6.05am Tui flight to Bourgas in Bulgaria due to take off at 9.40am – and a Jet2 flight to Kos in Greece postponed from 6.05am to 7.40am.

A 6.35am Tui flight to Funchal was delayed until 8.30am, while a 7am Tui flight to Ibiza was rescheduled for the same time.

The flight tracking website FlightRadar24 said at about 7.30am today that the average departure delay at Manchester was 21 minutes, with 65 per cent of departures delayed.

Among the passengers without their luggage today was Ben Crowe, who tweeted: 'We flew yesterday from Manchester to Crete, however all of the baggage was left in Manchester.

'We need to know when these cases will arrive in Crete, we have items for a wedding and some medication in the cases which is essential.'

Another, Jo Slater, said: 'Absolutely joke. I'm here in Ibiza last flight out Jet2, but our luggage sat in Manchester Airport. Very annoying. I've got medication in my case. No help whatsoever, no communication, someone is hold responsible for this.'

And a third tweeted: 'How do we find out where our baggage is and when it will arrive at the hotel?

'We are stuck without a change of clothes and personal belongings or medications... and so obviously cannot even begin to enjoy our holiday.'

Yesterday, thousands of fed up holidaymakers spent hours in check-in or security queues or were left stranded on inbound planes on the tarmac.

The power cut, which lasted just a few minutes at 1.30am, knocked out security systems, including those managing baggage loading, boarding-pass screening and passport control.

As a result staff could not process people or their luggage through the airport for hours.

Pictures showed thousands of people snaking out the doors and suitcases piled high at check-in desks unable to be loaded on to aircraft.

In a desperate bid to clear the 'bottleneck', airport chiefs cancelled scores of flights out of Terminals 1 and 2 and appealed to those due to jet off to stay at home.

Many more departures were delayed or took off without luggage onboard, while dozens of flights into the airport – around a fifth of all arrivals – were either also cancelled or diverted to other airports.

One Singapore Airlines flight arriving from Houston in Texas had to go to London Heathrow while another, which came in from Singapore, was forced to land at London Gatwick.

An Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi Zayed International Airport was diverted to Birmingham Airport.

Chris Woodroofe, managing director of Manchester Airport, apologised to furious passengers who complained of 'chaotic' conditions and poor communication from staff.

Paul Spencer, 67, and his wife, Jane, 66, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, were due to fly to the Greek island of Kefalonia with Jet2 at 4am.

They arrived just as the outage occurred and managed to get through baggage check-in and security and on to the plane, but their flight was cancelled before take-off.

'There was no prioritising, and people who were flying later were blocking those who were flying earlier,' Mr Spencer said. 'I think we were queuing for about four hours.

'When we got to the gate, we spotted the captain of the plane. He didn't know about the chaos inside the airport and was wondering why the baggage hadn't been loaded.

'Eventually, we got on to the plane but we were sat there for 45 minutes before we were told the flight was being cancelled.'

The couple managed to find alternative flights from Leeds Bradford airport yesterday.

'We feel we've got off lightly because other passengers weren't so lucky,' Mr Spencer added.

'Some we chatted to said they'd been told they'd have to get down to Gatwick to catch an early morning flight to Zante and then get a ferry on to Kefalonia from there.'

Friends Lisa Raw, 37, and Daniel Mason, 33, were part of a 16-strong group of friends and family due to travel to Dalaman, in Turkey, at 11.20am with Sun Express.

Ms Raw, an aesthetics practitioner from Richmond, North Yorkshire, said: 'We got here at 7.30am but didn't find out it was cancelled until two hours later. So we've now had to find new flights from Liverpool that cost £1,200.

'All we were told was keep standing around, we got not updates at all.' Jennifer and Robin Holt and their two children Molly, 19, and George, 16, were due to fly to Bangkok with Etihad.

Mrs Holt, 45, said: 'We were watching our flight on Flight Radar.

'It just kept circling above Manchester Airport before it was diverted to Birmingham. It didn't bother landing here due to all the chaos.

'We've been told to stay at a hotel in Manchester and hopefully we can get a flight early tomorrow morning.'

Also among those caught up in the disruption was Samuel Martin, 27, a student at the University of Sheffield, and his friend Matthew O'Brien, 27, an operations manager, whose flight to Manchester from New Zealand via Singapore was diverted to Heathrow.

Mr Martin, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said: 'We had someone driving to come and pick us up from Manchester Airport who had to turn around and go home.'

Around 90,000 passengers were due to fly in and out of the airport yesterday.

Mr Woodroofe said a faulty cable sent a surge of power across the airport site, knocking out the baggage screening and security systems.

Further investigations will be carried out into how it happened this week.

Videos and photographs posted on social media by passengers appeared to show the terminals in darkness.

But Mr Woodroofe insisted the lights had simply dimmed and it was a 'safe environment'.

Manchester Airport said in its latest update last night that it was not anticipating any 'further disruption' for today.

A statement said: 'We would like to apologise to all those affected by the disruption in Terminals 1 and 2 today (Sunday).

'Tomorrow's (Monday's) schedule is expected to run as usual with no further disruption so passengers should plan to travel to the airport as normal, checking in two hours ahead of their flight for short-haul, and three hours for long-haul.

'It is always advisable to check the status of your flight before you travel to the airport.'

The statement continued: 'Airlines will be in touch with passengers to rearrange cancelled flights as we work with airlines, their baggage handling agents and other partners to make sure passengers whose bags did not make it onto their flights are reunited with their belongings as soon as possible.

'We thank passengers for their patience today and we would also like to thank all of our staff, airlines and onsite partners for their hard work and resilience.'

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2024-06-24T07:08:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd