Dozens of uncollected bags – from flights which landed the day before -have been left around the reclaim hall in Terminal 3, abandoned by their owners who decided they had waited long enough
Image: MEN Media)
The chaos at Manchester Airport has continued with holidaymakers having to wait more than two hours to collect their bags.
Alison Unwin, 60, saw dozens of uncollected bags – from flights which landed the day before – left around the reclaim hall in Terminal 3, apparently abandoned by their owners who decided they had waited long enough.
It comes just days after the Manchester Evening News reported huge security queues and hours of flight delays and baggage handlers who are ‘under more stress than ever’.
After a holiday in Tenerife, Alison, her husband Paul, 62, and their 25-year-old son Ben landed at Manchester Airport at 5.16pm on Saturday following a Ryanair flight.
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Their bags didn’t come through until 7.30pm and having booked a taxi, Paul decided to take the cab back to the family home in Macclefield rather than incur further charges and then returned in his own car to pick up his wife, son and the bags.
Alison, speaking from the reclaim hall as she waited for her luggage on Saturday night, told the MEN: “There are bags everywhere from days before. It really is unacceptable. They’ve got tickets on them dated yesterday. If I wanted to I could just walk off with one of those bags.
“There are abandoned pushchairs, car seats, golf clubs and suit cases strewn around since yesterday. Nobody has taken charge of them. They are just left there.
“There’s a girl here with cystic fibrosis and the enzymes that she needs are in her suitcase. There are people here with a little baby and they’re waiting for their car seat. Obviously they can’t drive home without it.
Manchester Airport was approached for a comment and a spokesperson re-iterated a statement issued following the earlier problems.
They said: “We apologize to passengers whose experience today at Manchester Airport has fallen short of the standards they expected.
“As we recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, our whole industry is facing staff shortages and recruitment challenges. As a result we are advising customers that security queues may be longer than usual, and we encourage them to arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airlines.
“Due to the security checks and training associated with these roles, it takes time for people to be able to start work in our operation.
“That is why we are exploring a number of short-term measures to deliver the best possible service we can, such as the use of agency staff and different ways in which existing colleagues can support our operation.
“We are aware of similar challenges are being faced by airlines and third parties, such as baggage handling agents, operating on our site. Together, we are working hard to deliver the best possible service we can in the circumstances, and to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.”
A Swissport spokesperson said: “We are sorry passengers experienced this level of disruption. With a dramatic increase in the number of flights, as pandemic restrictions continue to ease, the capacity of the baggage system is being put under enormous pressure.
“We, and other baggage handlers operating at the airport, are all working closely with the airport management to help identify contingency measures whilst they address the vital maintenance and improvements these shared facilities require.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.