Gatwick back to ‘business as usual’ as airport announces no baggage delays

The average waiting time for passengers was 30 minutes, with baggage arriving on the baggage carousel within 55 minutes of landing

Gatwick Airport has announced that passengers reclaiming luggage today have experienced little or no delays, despite fears that there could be a repeat of last weekend’s "baggage chaos" at the Sussex airport.

In an early update from Gatwick, baggage reclaim staff said that it was back to “business as usual” with not one single delay being reported.

This comes after extra personnel were brought in to deal with the 276,000 passengers expected to pass through the airport this weekend.

According to baggage and cargo handling supplier Swissport, an extra 40 staff were brought in to deal with the demand, in addition to the 60 Gatwick staff that were put on standby to assist with the baggage handling operation.

A total of 41 flights arrived at the airport on Saturday morning, with no delays recorded.

Reports say that the average wait time for returning passengers was 30 minutes, with returned baggage arriving on the luggage carousel within 55 minutes of the plane landing - both within the guidelines for recommended waiting times.

An airport spokesman said early indications showed that it was likely that these targets would be met throughout the remainder of the weekend.

He said: "Going into the weekend we are not expecting any issues but we have put extra staff in place."

The news will come as a welcome respite for Swissport, who have been the target of criticism of late, following the chaotic scenes at Gatwick last Sunday.

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On Sunday, thousands of holidaymakers experienced severe delays in receiving their luggage, with some being advised to go home so that their luggage could be delivered to them.

Following the fiasco, Monarch Airlines cancelled two of its contracts with Swissport, while other airlines had voiced their concerns that Swissport did not seem to be able to handle the demand.

Chief executive of British Airways' parent company IAG, Willie Walsh, warned Swissport on Friday that the company had “other options” if the quality of service was not addressed.

Swissport made a public apology to those affected by the delays and said that the problems were caused by planes arriving or taking off earlier or later than planned.

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