Passengers miss flights at Stansted Airport after baggage system failure causes 'chaos'
Long queues and last-minute dashes put a 'downer' on Stansted travellers' long-awaited trips.
The queues snaked around the Essex terminal building on Sunday morningPassengers at Stansted Airport missed flights when a baggage system failure plunged departures into "chaos".Travellers hoping to depart on Sunday said they were faced with long queues around the terminal as staff raced to manually process luggage.
Stansted said its system, which recently underwent a £70m upgrade, was thought to have suffered a power issue.An airport spokesman apologised for disruption and said the problem had been fixed.Several families who spoke to the BBC at Stansted described chaotic scenes that had put a downer on long-awaited holidays.
Neil and Gemma Jackson arrived at Stansted at 04:30 BST after travelling from Kent with their children. The trip to Lanzarote is their first in two years."It started off ordinarily, we queued up to check in and that progressed quite quickly," said Mrs Jackson. headtopics.com
"But where it really went off the rails was we were all advised to drop our bags at a particular zone. There was absolute chaos."Every single passenger from every airline seemed to be in the same queue. There was no crowd control, it snaked around the entire airport, people were pushing in.
"We waited politely at security control. Then our gate closed and we were turned away."Image caption,Neil and Gemma Jackson and their children missed their 07:05 flight to LanzaroteEllie Winstanley, 27, who was flying with Ryanair, also said she was advised to join a queue that "circled the entire airport".
"Then the conveyor belt stopped working," she said. "We rushed through security which was fairly quick and then we sprinted and they closed the gate on time."I've got asthma so I was just trying to get a break. I felt for this other woman with two kids who looked teary and so incredibly stressed."
Image caption,Ellie Winstanley was hoping to fly to Malaga for a 10-day break with her father and brotherTrinity Hammatt, 21, from Haverhill, and Thomas Hammond, 21, from Saffron Walden, were heading to Valencia and said they arrived at the airport three hours in advance - as advised by Ryanair. headtopics.com
"We had to wait in that awful long queue because the belts are down," Ms Hammatt said. "It's completely put a downer on the whole thing."Everyone we spoke to brushed us off. I understand it's busy and manic, but it's been overwhelming.
"No-one is taking responsibility."Image caption,Thomas Hammond and Trinity Hammatt missed their first flight together on SundayThe baggage system upgrade in May involved replacing ageing conveyor belts and chutes with 2.4km (7,874ft) of track and 180 automated carts.
An airport spokesman said he believed the system had suffered a power issue."Contingency measures were immediately put in place with our airlines to mitigate disruption and manually process baggage while engineers worked to fix the issue." he said.
"The system is now operating as normal but passengers are still asked to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departs in accordance with their airline's latest advice." Read more: BBC News (UK) »
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Lol I give myself 3 hrs safety net before my flight to check and settle in w/a small overnight bag carryon for those 'just in case' times. Half of the passengers on our flight to Rhodes arrived with no luggage. A complete failure STN_Airport. Who knows when we might get out bags! Complete chaos. DON’T BOOK unnecessary flights… Make your Holiday a local adventure, support local businesses, explore our amazing history and countryside, reduce your carbon emissions and do your bit to help our stressed and distressed planet
It was a bloody disaster. Hours in the queue. There was almost no staff, plenty of 'managers'. The working staff will quit soon too. Oh dear how said never mind happy days Stansted Airport is falling apart. I landed there recently and not a single working ATM in the whole airport. Mercury retrograde 💞 Unexpected problem in the bagging area😂
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