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"'Thousands' of bags missing after Heathrow glitch"

Monday, December 18, 2006

'Thousands' of bags missing after Heathrow glitchStaff and agencies
United Kingdom - The Guardian

British Airways was today trying to reunite hundreds of passengers with
their luggage after an airport computer problem.

Many passengers over the weekend arrived at destinations without their
aircraft-hold bags because of a broken down baggage belt at Heathrow's
Terminal 4.

BA today said "hundreds" of passengers had been affected and that the
backlog would be cleared "as soon as humanly possible". However one of the
affected travellers estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 bags were missing.

Sound recordist Anthony Mawby, 30, from London, added that he and his
girlfriend were still waiting to get their bags back after a trip from
Heathrow to Paris. 

"We arrived in Paris on Friday evening without our bags. We were told there
was a bit of a problem with the bags but that everything would be all
right," Mr Mawby said. 

"We should have been informed better, as we could then have transferred some
items from our hold luggage into our carry-on bags." 

Mr Mawby and his partner arrived back at Heathrow last night and are yet to
be reunited with their luggage. 

A BA spokesman said today: "We had problems with the baggage belts over the
weekend. Everything is working normally now and we are working hard to get
everyone's bags back to them. We apologise to passengers for what's

All of the affected baggage was accounted for, the airline stressed, and all
items would be returned as soon as possible.

BA had to contend with a software failure affecting one of the terminal's
baggage belts early on Sunday morning. Although the breakdown affected all
airlines at Terminal 4, BA was particularly badly hit, being Heathrow's
largest carrier and operating almost all of the affected flights.

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