‘Absolute chaos’ at the airport as children were left in tears and people forced to abandon luggage

Passengers at Manchester Airport have been left in “utter chaos” after being told to leave their holdalls to collect later, only to be told they need to be sent home

This was the scene at Manchester Airport when hundreds of abandoned suitcases were left behind
Hundreds of abandoned suitcases have been left at Manchester Airport

Hundreds of passengers were left waiting for hours for their luggage after TUI problems caused travel chaos at Manchester Airport yesterday.

Abandoned suitcases were dumped in baggage halls after passengers were told to leave their bags to pick up later, only to be told it would have to be delivered to their homes.

Dawn Brian, from Stoke-on-Trent, was one of the passengers left in a riot after landing from Palma de Menorca just before 10pm last night.

She had to wait two hours before being told they had to fill out a form to have her luggage delivered.

“We were already worried about what we would encounter upon landing, but it was just chaos,” Dawn said the MEN

“We waited two hours for our luggage and the carousel belt hadn’t moved at all. It was awful.







Passengers were told that there would be no staff to collect their luggage until the morning shift
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Picture:

REUTERS)

“There were bags everywhere that had just been left behind by other flights. You could see they came from places like Goa.

“They couldn’t tell us when we would get our luggage back, but there were people there who said they had medicine in their luggage.”

Dawn said someone panicked as their house keys were in their luggage and they couldn’t get into their house without them.

She added: “We have all sorts of things on our case that we can’t get to this morning, there’s nothing desperate for us but there will be for a lot of families.

“When we spoke to a member of staff, my husband asked why it was so chaotic and they said there wasn’t enough staff to handle the many queues.

“People got a little bit tense and frustrated, kids were crying and it was just absolute chaos.

“Unfortunately we have already booked another holiday to Cyprus in September from Manchester but we will definitely choose a different flight next time.”







Dawn said someone panicked as their house keys were in their luggage and they couldn’t get into their house without them
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AFP via Getty Images)

Vicki Bowdler, from Bolton, arrived at Manchester Airport at 10pm on Saturday after holidaying in Menorca with her eight-year-old daughter.

She said: “Thankfully our flight was only an hour late but we then had to wait to board in Manchester as we didn’t have an airlift available.

“As we got off, we could see that passengers on another TUI flight were already being asked to report their baggage as delayed and go home.

“We were told we would have to wait 30 minutes for our luggage but every time everyone asked it was always 30 minutes.

“The kids were getting hysterical, my daughter was panicking so a nice couple came to help and try to distract her as it was clear the bags weren’t going to arrive.

“We waited three hours before being told around 2 a.m. that we had to fill out a form and go home.”

Vicki criticized the lack of communication and said they waited forever without an update.

She added: “It’s a disaster waiting to happen down there with luggage just piling up, no staff in sight and a whole crowd of justifiably disgruntled and angry passengers.

“There were babies without strollers, some without a change of clothes.







Travel chaos reigns at Manchester Airport
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(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“Nobody should have to go through that on the way home, especially children who are tired after being away and can’t explain why all their belongings didn’t come back with them.

“I feel for those who are now traveling about halfway through the semester as I have a feeling it’s just going to be total chaos.”

She added that she was booked for another trip with TUI next year but was so put off that she was tempted to cancel.

Duncan Smith was on the same flight as Vicki and claims they were told there was no staff available to get their bags off the plane until the morning shift.

He added: “It turned out they had staff but opted to leave our luggage stranded while other flights that arrived a few hours later were processed.

“Our luggage finally arrived just after 6:30 a.m. on Sunday – about eight and a half hours after landing.

“The communication and support from TUI and Manchester Airport has been appalling – the baggage hall is a complete mess, horrible scenes.”

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A spokesman for Swissport said: “Half-year is always a busy time for airports and we know that they, as well as our airline partners, are currently facing a number of challenges that often impact our work and compound existing capacity challenges.

“We understand how frustrating delays are for passengers, so our staff will always try to find a solution.

“We will continue to work with airports, airlines and other baggage handlers to minimize disruption wherever we can.”

A TUI spokesman added: “We would like to thank customers at Manchester Airport today for their patience and understanding during this exceptionally busy time. We work continuously with airport staff and baggage handlers to ensure smooth operations on the ground.

“The safety and well-being of our passengers and employees is always our top priority.”

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