BA admits 19,000 bags in storage at Heathrow

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of British Airways has issued a fresh apology to travellers caught up in the Heathrow Terminal 5 opening and took "full responsibility" for the fiasco while insisting he would not resign.

The apology came after the Aviation minister Jim Fitzpatrick criticised the airline and said it will take up to a week to return some 28,000 bags placed in temporary storage. Mr Fitzpatrick said the opening of the £4.3bn terminal had fallen "well short of expectations".

BA was forced to cancel a further 54 flights at T5 yesterday, with another 50 due for cancellation today. Mr Walsh said: "We've got about 19,000 bags. Of those, we are currently processing 5,000 that we hope to start dispatching to customers. So we are getting bags back.

"But this is a labour-intensive process because we're not using the T5 baggage system to what we call reflight these bags. We're doing this manually and clearly it will take time."