100 extra staff enlisted by Gatwick Airport to beat baggage chaos
Gatwick Airport has up to 60 staff on standby to ensure there is no repeat of last week’s chaos that left some passengers being told to go home without their baggage.
The contingency plan was put in place as at least one airline, Monarch, is understood to be ending its contract with Swissport, the baggage handling company at Gatwick.
Swissport, which has been criticised for its use of zero-hours contracts, apologised for the staff shortages that caused the baggage handling chaos and said it has brought in an extra 40 workers to cope with high passenger numbers this weekend.
Gatwick managers have also drafted in 60 of their own staff to help with baggage handling with a spokesman saying: "While we are not anticipating issues with arriving baggage delivery this weekend, we do have a robust contingency plan in place. This includes providing an additional 60 staff to support the Swissport operation.”
He added: “Gatwick is operating well and passengers booked to fly through Gatwick this weekend are advised to do so as planned.
"We would like to reiterate that the issues we saw last weekend were limited to arriving bags and delivery has been good since the weekend."
Nevertheless, the travel organisation Abta is advising travellers to pack essential items such as medicine and mobiles in their hand luggage. A spokeswoman said: "There have been notable delays at Gatwick's baggage reclaim on inbound flights over recent weeks. We hope customers flying through Gatwick enjoy a smoother service this weekend.”
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways' parent company IAG, intensified pressure on Swissport when he warned that “we have options” if the quality of service isn’t addressed.
"At this stage we are working with them,” he told ITV. “We are satisfied they are putting the right measures in place and I'm confident they will resolve them. If they don't we will certainly look at other opportunities."
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...
18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...
£20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...