Hundreds of suitcases left at UK airport while TUI customers wait ‘over five hours’


Lisa Heath, 43, felt “disappointed and let down” after walking home without her luggage – and said half of her flight was left empty-handed due to a lack of baggage handlers.

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Travel chaos: Hundreds of suitcases are left at Manchester Airport

Hundreds of suitcases were left at Manchester Airport last night as passengers were told to wait more than five hours for their luggage.

TUI customer Lisa Heath, 43, was told that due to apparent staff shortages there was no guarantee she would receive her items by the end of the day.

Her return flight from Zakynthos in Greece was delayed two and a half hours, then she waited another two hours for her luggage – only to be told to go home.

Lisa, who booked the package holiday with TUI before the coronavirus pandemic, said customers were not kept informed and some left “in absolute tears”.

She filmed a video capturing dozens of leftover suitcases, bags and strollers in the airport’s Terminal 2, saying: “This is just part of the hundreds of pieces of luggage that have been left over because people spent five hours or more waiting for it to come off the plane.”

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Hundreds of suitcases were left at Manchester Airport last night


Lisa health)

Lisa told ‘The Mirror’: “It’s a shocking scene that we just got back to. I thought ‘this is absolutely insane what I’m seeing here’ and didn’t think for a minute that I would be one of those people who was told my luggage would be delivered to me.

“There were other people in far worse situations – babies without strollers and clothes, parents who left in tears with nothing for their children. Half of our flight came back empty handed.

“I am disappointed and let down because we had a great holiday. We liked it so much we booked again but are now considering going back.

“They had staff putting people’s luggage on trolleys and saying it would be a week before they even got the luggage back. They distributed leaflets so they seemed to know the situation.

Lisa shot a video capturing dozens of leftover suitcases, bags and strollers in the airport’s Terminal 2


Lisa health)

“They just didn’t seem to have enough workers to get everything off the plane. The suitcases were loaded, placed on the plane and then there was nobody at the other end to unload everything. It’s really quite awful.”

Lisa said she filled out a form online and told her to wait a week or more because of the upcoming anniversary holiday before being told when the company could deliver her luggage.

The Birkenhead beautician added: “I took all my facial essentials so I can’t see clients this week and had to cancel them. We also had expensive clothes – really all our little things.

“No one was looking after the suitcases – they were just abandoned. There were hundreds of them and many prams. I felt sorry for all the families because you take all your baby stuff with you on holiday and they went home with nothing.”

Laura and her partner on their outbound flight to Zakynthos


Lisa health)

The beautician on vacation in Greece


Lisa health)

A TUI spokesman said: “We would like to thank customers at Manchester Airport yesterday for their patience and understanding during this exceptionally busy time.

“We continue to work closely with airport staff and baggage handlers to ensure smooth operations on the ground and minimize the impact on customers. The safety and well-being of our passengers and colleagues is always our top priority.”

Other passengers complained of similar issues after Lisa shared the footage on social media.

One person commented: “We waited three hours last night for ours to then be told to go home without them because there was no staff to put them on the carousel!”

Another wrote: “We waited two hours for our bags this morning after already being four hours late! I’m just thankful that we can take our stroller in the cabin. Lots of people waiting for prams with babies!”

Laura on vacation with her partner and two friends


Lisa health)

And a third added: “Our friends have just arrived in Turkey for our wedding and their luggage is still at Manchester Airport!! Absolute carnage!”

The comments come after “hundreds” of TUI passengers reportedly received text messages from the company telling them their trips had been canceled after an eight-hour wait at the airport.

Holidaymakers endured several delays before finally being told they would not be leaving Manchester Airport. Some children even broke down in tears after discovering their vacation had been ruined Manchester evening news reports.

A family of 10 arrived on time and quickly cleared check-in and security, only to find their departure delayed by two hours.

The decision to wait for another flight confirmed their worst fears at 2.15am when TUI texted them saying they were not going on holiday.

Mum Emma, ​​39, said: “We were devastated, we hadn’t had a holiday in two years like so many other people.”

Other passengers complained of similar issues after Lisa posted the footage on social media


Lisa health)

Abandoned suitcases at the airport


Lisa health)

Another passenger faced with a travel nightmare was Steve Hession, 45, who was due to fly to Kos with his brother-in-law and bride for their wedding on Saturday.

They were due to arrive for the couple’s ceremony, only to have their flight canceled via text message, sparking a frantic search for alternative flights.

The pair eventually reached the Greek island via Newcastle, while Steve and family hope to join them this week.

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “Many companies across the aviation sector are currently facing staff shortages and resource issues, including a number of airlines and baggage handlers.

“When a longer wait for baggage claim is expected, passengers are sometimes offered the option to return home and have their baggage delivered by courier.

“This baggage will be held in a secure area manned 24/7 awaiting collection. As it has been controlled at source and is stored in a security controlled area, it is not considered a security risk.

“We apologize to all passengers who had a disappointing experience at Manchester Airport this weekend. This is not the experience we want passengers to have and we are in touch with the senior management teams of the relevant airlines and ground handlers to understand the root cause of these issues and to support their efforts to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

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