Gatwick Airport passengers facing minimal baggage delays

Passengers at Gatwick Gatwick Airport said the average waiting time for luggage had been about 30 minutes

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Passengers reclaiming their baggage at Gatwick Airport have had little or no delay after extra staff were brought in following last weekend's disruption.

Baggage-handling company Swissport has drafted in 40 extra staff to avoid a repeat of the problems where some travellers went home without luggage.

The company apologised for last week's delays, blaming a staff shortage.

Travel organisation Abta has advised air passengers to carry essential items in their hand luggage.

'Targets met'

Gatwick's management has also laid on staff to assist with the baggage operation.

It had been critical of Swissport's performance, saying it had failed to meet standards.

Start Quote

Going into the weekend we are not expecting any issues but we have put extra staff in place”

End Quote Gatwick Airport spokesman

An airport spokesman said early indications on Saturday showed all flights had so far met the time targets for returning luggage to the baggage claim area.

"The average wait time in the hall this morning so far has been 30 minutes, which is no different to most other weekends.

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

All of the 41 flights to arrive at Gatwick between 01:00 and 06:00 BST returned baggage to the carousel within 55 minutes of arrival.

About 132,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport on Saturday, with about 144,000 expected on Sunday.

On Thursday, it emerged airline Monarch had ended two contracts with Swissport, following last weekend's problems.

The BBC understands a new baggage handler will be appointed by November.

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