Published: 18:01, 28 July 2014 |
Updated: 18:29, 28 July 2014
kmfm presenter Rob Wills was among hundreds of passengers who had to leave Gatwick airport without their luggage amid delays of up to five hours at baggage reclaim.
Rob, who lives in Wainscott, was flying back from Alicante, Spain, with his girlfriend Nicola on Saturday.
They were due to arrive at Gatwick at midnight, but eventually landed at around 1.30am on Sunday.
The couple found the baggage reclaim hall filled with hundreds of waiting people.
He said: "There were people everywhere. It was unbelievable. There were people laying on the floor, on the carousels, kids asleep on their parent's laps."
A short time later, there was an announcement to say passengers affected should leave the airport without their luggage and BA would be in touch.
Rob said: "We were some of the lucky ones. We had only been waiting for 20 minutes. I spoke to one woman who had been there for an hour and a half and she said not a single suitcase had come out in that time.
"The main problem was that there was no-one on the floor to tell you what was going on - there was no staff from BA or Gatwick staff."
Rob and Nicola left the airport at around 3am on Sunday and returned at 10am to collect their belongings.
Their cases were among hundreds piled high between the baggage carousels. The only guidance a staff member could give them was that theirs would be "somewhere between carousels six and nine".
"Luckily I've got a purple bag so I spotted it, but if you had a black suitcase it would have been a nightmare to find..." - kmfm DJ Rob Wills
Rob said: "Luckily I've got a purple bag so I spotted it, but if you had a black suitcase it would have been a nightmare to find. There were mountains of bags. The piles were as long as the carousel and up to my shoulder height."
Gatwick has since apologised and blamed the delays on staff shortages at baggage handlers Swissport.
A spokesman said yesterday passengers would be reunited with their luggage within the next 48 hours.
The airport added: "Working with airlines, arrangements were made for passengers to leave their bags at the airport to be sent on to their home address.
"Passengers able to return to (the) airport can also collect bags.
"Baggage reclaim at airport has returned to normal. Gatwick and baggage agents Swissport have provided extra staff to strengthen resources."
Were you affected by the Gatwick airport baggage delays? Leave a comment below.
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