Day of chaos at Heathrow

At least 15,000 bags are stranded at Heathrow airport after a third day of cancellations at the new Terminal 5.

The news came after one-fifth of British Airways flights from the troubled terminal were scrapped on Saturday - 67 out of the 330 scheduled.

Many passengers said they departed on flights after being told their luggage would not be travelling. A further 37 flights have been cancelled for Sunday.

The airline has also scrapped its ?100 limit for delayed passengers' hotels.

BA has confirmed an estimated 15,000 bags are stranded but one source has told the BBC that the number may be closer to 20,000.

The bags are stacked up across all terminals at the airport, after problems with BA flights coming in and out of the new terminal.

Other carriers bringing passengers into Heathrow, to transfer to BA flights, have been asked by the airline to hold on to their bags while it clears the existing backlog.

It is not clear how long the process will take.

The airline said bags for UK destinations would be returned by courier while international luggage would take the next available flight, although ground-based options were also being considered.

"We are looking at ways to get them back as quickly as possible, we are doing everything we can," a BA spokeswoman said.

BA processes 75,000 bags a day through Heathrow and since T5 opened on Thursday, 225,000 items have gone through all their operations at the airport.

Earlier, check-in was suspended for an hour at T5 on Saturday morning, as airport workers attempted to deal with the problem.

The fifth terminal opened amid great fanfare on Thursday, but problems with the baggage handling system and "staff familiarisation" quickly derailed operations.

A total of 208 flights in and out of the terminal were cancelled during the first three days.

Airport operator BAA also confirmed that a "small percentage" of lifts at the terminal were not working on Saturday, but said they were either not in passenger areas or would not interfere with passenger flow.

On one of the delayed planes, passengers on flight BA0662 to Larnaca were held on the tarmac for some four hours before leaving at 1205 GMT.

One, Elizabeth Drury, told the BBC the captain said they would be leaving without any luggage.

They had been told this was because some of the bags initially put on the plane had not been screened properly.

"The whole experience has been meltdown," she said.

A group of school pupils on flight BA285 to San Francisco also said they were told by the airline that their bags were not on board and they could choose whether or not to travel. They were bound for a skiing trip.

"It could ruin it because we are scheduled to start skiing tomorrow," said one schoolgirl, Natalie Bakhurst.

BA apologised to its customers for disruption, and said its operational staff were working tirelessly to make the operation work "robustly".

It advised people to call its information line or check its website before travelling.

The airline had faced criticism over its upper limit on hotel accommodation costs for delayed passengers.

On Thursday evening, leaflets were handed out to blighted passengers saying they were entitled to ?100 compensation for two people sharing a hotel room.

But the airline has since said it will consider any "reasonable accommodation cost" claims.

Under 2005 rules, an airline is obliged to supply meals and refreshments, along with accommodation if an overnight stay is required, when a flight is delayed. The Air Transport Users Council said the letter could be in breach of regulations.

The unexpected heavy demand for hotel rooms when the crisis began on Thursday meant that by the evening passengers were being asked to pay ?250 for a double room.

But by Saturday night a typical rate for a single room at one of Heathrow's airport hotels was about ?80.

Azerbaijan confirms 4,170 new COVID-19 cases, 1,985 recoveries
Azerbaijan confirms 4,170 new COVID-19 cases, 1,985 recoveries
Aghdam district of Azerbaijan after 27 years of Armenian occupation (VIDEO)
Aghdam district of Azerbaijan after 27 years of Armenian occupation (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani team takes third place in group exercises at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
Azerbaijani team takes third place in group exercises at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran boosts manufacturing of passenger cars
UAE cabinet approves new cybersecurity body, climate change envoy
Geostat reveals volume of ferroalloys exported by Georgia to Turkey
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Kazakhstan continues introduction of mobile diagnostic tools in railway sector
Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan discuss possibilities of attracting investors to Azerbaijan territories liberated from occupation
Britain expects 'very significant' week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down
Iran declares cargo transportation from Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Death toll from COVID-19 tops 172,000 in Brazil
Chinese companies to process Uzbek garlic for further export to US and European countries
Turkey's export of grain, legumes to France declines
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 29
Details of Iran’s trade turnover announced
EU aims to support Georgia in its efforts to reform electricity market
Azerbaijan confirms 4,170 new COVID-19 cases, 1,985 recoveries
5.5-magnitude quake hits Vanuatu
Azersu LLC announces tender for purchase of equipment for laboratory
Kazakhstan's import of Turkish cement up
Azerbaijan shows footage of Aghdam's Shahbuldag village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Expenses on construction of enterprises in Iran’s Isfahan Province increases
Number of enterprises launched in Iran's Ilam Province shrinks
Turkmengas opens tender for maintenance of gas turbine generators
At least 30 police killed, over 20 wounded in suicide car bomb explosion in E. Afghanistan
Georgia reports 4 426 new coronavirus cases, 3 721 recoveries, 35 deaths
Over 5,500 patients recover from coronavirus in Moscow in the past day
Azerbaijan shows footage of liberated from occupation villages of Kalbajar region (PHOTO/VIDEO)
China increases import of Turkish cars
Employment in Iran's Alborz Province declines
The President of Turkmenistan receives representative of medical community of Germany
S. Korea reports 450 more COVID-19 cases, 33,824 in total
Azerbaijan's turnover on payment cards in 10M2020 up
Inter-Agency Coordination Council discusses enforcement of Covid restrictions
Azerbaijan has ample opportunities and potential for artificial intelligence dev't
Trump may announce plans for 2024 presidential race during Biden’s inauguration
826 more coronavirus cases recorded in Kazakhstan over 24 hours
France sees further fall in COVID-19 hospitalizations as lockdown exit starts
Turkey's Temsa makes 1st electric bus exports to Sweden
Iran registers monthly positive trade balance
Scottish dev’t agency eyes establishing co-op with companies in Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan
Croatian PM in self-quarantine after wife contracts COVID-19
UK records another 15,871 coronavirus cases with 479 deaths
Some 46,000 people gather in Paris to protest against security bill
Kazakhstan to modify large energy saving projects on railways
Severe fire danger for Australia as temperatures smash records
Dozens of Boko Haram militants killed in Nigeria airstrikes
Pope installs new cardinals, including first African-American
WHO reports new daily record high of over 747,000 COVID-19 cases
UK police arrest 155 in anti-lockdown protests in London
Assistant to Azerbaijani president posts footage from Tartar, Aghdam cities
UK, France sign new deal to stop illegal migration across Channel
Iran discloses electricity generation at Iran's Bandar Abbas TPP
Turkey reports 6,714 new COVID-19 cases, 487,912 in total
Zarif: Iran at forefront of fighting terrorism
Georgia takes necessary steps to avoid increase in bread prices
Ethiopian military has taken 'full control' of Tigray capital, government says
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Kazakhstan raises import of grain, legumes from Turkey
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
AP publishes article covering Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Ganja on Oct.17 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
OIC adopts resolutions in connection with Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan
President, members of Board of European Muslim Forum send letter to President Aliyev
Aghdam district of Azerbaijan after 27 years of Armenian occupation (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan to bring waste processing level to average European level
UK appoints minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccine rollout
Number of blocked malware in AzStateNet network drops
Airport in Uzbekistan to buy auto parts via tender
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale November 29
Azerbaijani team takes third place in group exercises at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
At least 6 killed in Somali capital suicide bombing
Microsoft Azerbaijan to support all initiatives in liberated territories of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage of Kalbajar's Vang village (VIDEO)
Police fire tear gas at Paris protest against police violence
Electricity imports growing in Georgia
Cargo, passenger traffic via Turkish Sabiha Gokcen Airport slumps amid pandemic
Uzbek-Korean JSC Uz-Dong Won Co. announces tender for steel pipes supply
Cargo transportation at Turkish Antalya airport reduces
Austria records nearly 1,000 COVID-19 deaths over past 10 days
State Employment Agency of Azerbaijan opens tender on supporting start-up projects
Results of Azerbaijan's junior national team performance at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships announced
Details of Iran’s exports to Iraq declared
Azerbaijan reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases, 1,760 recoveries
Four citizens dead as result of mine exploding in Fuzuli - Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office
Kazakhstan's export volumes to China surge despite COVID-19
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president, diplomats, Garabagh FC representatives visit Aghdam Mosque (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan committed to promoting socio-economic development of Afghanistan
Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Tender for maintenance of elevators, escalators launched in Turkey
Azerbaijan's ten-month output of oil products declines
Turkey's export of grain and legumes to Turkmenistan up
Turkmenistan, Belarus discuss program of cooperation
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic corps reps arrive at liberated Aghdam city
Rural digitalization project successfully underway in Kazakhstan
Missile fired to Tartar by Armenia delivered to local museum - president's assistant (VIDEO)
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Ardabil Province up
Water problems center to be created in Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of lubricating oil
Azerbaijan’s Baku Telephone Communications opens tender
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
All news