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British Airways passengers wait days to be reunited with their bags amid Heathrow luggage mountain

Piles of luggage at British Airways’ Heathrow home at Terminal 5.

Adam Kent

  • Some British Airways passengers are waiting days to be reunited with their luggage.
  • Adam Kent told Insider: “Abandoned luggage was left unsecured and could easily be stolen.”
  • The airline said bags on the vast majority of flights are being returned to customers as normal.

Some passengers at British Airways’ home terminal at Heathrow airport in London have been waiting days to be reunited with their luggage as travel chaos continues on both sides of the Atlantic.

Piles of suitcases have mounted at Terminal 5 as air travel continues to prove challenging following a spate of flight delays and cancellations due to staff shortages and high demand. 

Thousands of flights were canceled over the Fourth of July weekend in the US. 

A luggage mountain has continued to grow at the terminal. Adam Kent, who landed on Saturday, told Insider: “Staff were nowhere to be seen, everyone was pretty shocked. Abandoned luggage was left unsecured and could easily be stolen.”

He added: “There was no duty of care shown to passengers’ possessions.”

A picture showing abandoned luggage in Heathrow's Terminal 5.Luggage continues to pile up at Terminal 5.

Adam Kent

One British Airways passenger had to buy new clothes after being told that her luggage was lost.

Hannah Royle was still traveling from Heathrow to Bologna on June 26 when the airline emailed to say her luggage was not put on the plane.

A week later she is still waiting to get back: “I did have to buy some clothes, but because our flight was short haul, British Airways are putting a limit of £200 ($242) on how much we can claim back.”

On Sunday BA told Royle that her bag was lost after making multiple attempts to reach customer service. “I’m trying to be positive about it but it is incredibly annoying as I go home tomorrow and lots of the items in the suitcase I need for work,” she said.

The university student and part-time carer was traveling to Bologna with a friend and family members for a cruise. She said she spent about €250 ($260) on new clothes and toiletries. 

“Fortunately my friend and I are similar sizes and we had duplicates of toiletries so we could share,” she said.

British Airways said it is working with several courier companies to deliver luggage to customers as quickly as possible. 

“Bags on the vast majority of our flights are being offloaded and returned to our customers as normal,” a spokesperson said. “On the very limited number of occasions when we experience severe operational challenges, we are apologizing to our customers and asking them not to wait for their bags.”

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