Manchester Airport passengers without luggage after power cut

Some passengers whose travel plans were thrown into chaos by a power cut at Manchester Airport face further delays as airlines rearrange grounded flights while others have been left without luggage and their final destinations.

Airport bosses said all its system were "running as normal" again, but urged passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling.

It said airlines would be in touch with travellers whose flights had been cancelled on Sunday.

The airport said it was "likely to be slightly busier than usual" throughout Monday due to passengers hit by cancellations.

People queueing at Manchester Airport
Large queues formed as flights were cancelled at Manchester Airport [BBC]

However some outgoing passengers have reported arriving at their destinations only to be told their bags had not been loaded onto the flight.

Lloyd Cooke, from Stoke-on-Trent, had booked the 07:15 BST Jet2 flight from Manchester to Alicante on Sunday for a five-night stay with his daughter, Holly Cooke.

The 62-year-old charity chief executive told the BBC that as the baggage carousel at check-in was not functioning, they were told to leave their luggage to one side and checked in as usual.

The flight left after a 90 minute delay with all the passengers onboard unaware their bags had been left behind, Mr Cooke claimed.

Mr Cooke said: "We had no awareness there was anything negative going to impact us.

"The first we knew there was a major problem was when we were told, before we got off the plane, that some of the bags had not made it.

"Everyone was thinking that sounded like most had made it but there were some left behind, so you're hoping yours has made it."

Lloyd Cooke
Charity chief executive Lloyd Cooke said he felt Jet2 had been "disingenuous" by not telling passengers they would be flying without their baggage. [Handout]

However, Mr Cooke said after making their way through passport control in Spain passengers were greeted by about 10 Jet2 reps - who confirmed the no luggage was coming.

"I think if they had said to people you have two options, fly without baggage or cancel and make other arrangements quite a few would have," he said.

"We're quite resilient but you have got families or people have medication or all sorts of important things they can't do without. I feel like it was a bit disingenuous."

Mr Cooke said the airline had said the baggage was likely to arrive on Tuesday, but he added: "I am not holding my breath."

A spokesperson for Jet2 said it apologised and that the process of sending left-behind luggage had "already started".

Passengers waiting to collect their luggage in Manchester Airport
Chaotic scenes greeted passengers waiting to collect their luggage on Sunday [Handout]
Passengers wait for news after disembarking a flight from Rhodes in the early hours of Sunday
Passengers waiting for news after disembarking a flight from Rhodes in the early hours of Sunday [Handout]

Similar problems faced passengers arriving at Manchester from other airports.

Ryan Jones and his fiancé Haf Griffiths were returning from an "amazing" 10-night stay in Rhodes and landed in Manchester at about 02:15 BST.

However, Mr Jones, from Deeside in North Wales, said they were kept onboard the Tui flight for about 30 minutes and told there had been a power outage.

"They finally let us off the plane and moved us quickly into Terminal 2 where it all came to a standstill for about two hours," he said.

"Nobody knew what was happening, there were children crying their eyes out as nobody had had any sleep, nobody could tell us anything, there were just announcements saying there had been a power outage."

Ryan Jones and Haf Griffiths posing for a selfie in Rhodes
Ryan Jones and his fiancé Haf Griffiths said their holiday to Rhodes had been "tarnished" by their experience [Handout]

Mr Jones said "everything started moving" at about 04:00, and passengers were put on buses into Terminal 1 where they went through passport control.

He said: "We thought 'we're through, it will be absolutely fine now, everything is sorted'.

"But when we got to baggage collection there were thousands of people standing and lying around."

Mr Jones said there was no sign of any baggage arriving, and they waited until 07:00 with "nobody telling us anything".

"There were people opening the flaps where the baggage comes onto the carousel to talk to the baggage handlers. They didn't have a clue what was going on, there were arguments galore", he said.

Mr Jones said staff began directing passengers to fill out an online form to arrange for bags to be sent to their homes, and he and Ms Griffiths left about 07:45.

He said: "We had an amazing time but this has tarnished it to be honest."

The Tui airline apologised to its customers affected by the power cut.

A statement added: "Unfortunately, some customers had to travel home yesterday without their bags due to the inoperable baggage system at Manchester Airport.

"We would like to reassure customers that we will reunite them with their belonging as soon as possible. We appreciate our customers patience at this time."

'Knocking confidence'

According to Manchester's live departure board, there were several delays of an hour or more, including a 07:30 BST flight to Ibiza set to depart at 08:30.

A flight to Bourgas in Bulgaria, due to depart at 06:05, was delayed until 09:41.

Travel expert Simon Calder told BBC 5Live that Sunday's events could have a "serious" impact on aviation by "knocking confidence".

He said: "There will be some people who take one look at this, look at the stress and the anxiety and the upset, and the not knowing what's going on, and say 'well I'm not going to do that'.

"That will affect an airport's business, possibly more widely airports' businesses."

Mr Calder said the industry was "competitive", with Manchester risking losing out to alternative airports.

He added: "If people are chatting in the pub and say 'well I used Liverpool John Lennon Airport and it was fine, nice and uncrowded, seems to work OK', then you might get a cohort of people actually moving away from Manchester Airport to another airport."

People queuing at Manchester Airport after their flights were cancelled
Passengers whose flights were cancelled described the situation as "chaos" [BBC]

The airport said it said it had deployed extra staff to help process the backlog, and said passengers should generally arrive two hours before their flights for short-haul and three hours for long-haul.

From the early hours of Sunday, outbound flights were grounded and scheduled arrivals were diverted to other UK airports.

By lunchtime, 66 outbound flights (25% of all departures) and 50 inbound journeys (18% of all arrivals) had been cancelled, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.

At about 19:30 BST, airport bosses said flights had resumed and vowed to hold an investigation into what happened.

Passengers whose flights were cancelled described the situation at the airport as "chaos", and photos shared on social media showed large queues and stalled baggage carousels piled high with luggage.

Kelvin Knaver, from St Helens, had been due to fly to Amsterdam with EasyJet.

He told BBC North West Tonight: "It has been a mess. There’s such a backlog that it’s going to take forever to clear."

EasyJet saw the largest number of cancellations. It said the delays were "out of its control" and that it was "doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the disruption".

One Singapore Airlines flight from Houston in Texas was diverted to London Heathrow while another which departed from Singapore had to land at London Gatwick.

An Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi had to touch down in Birmingham Airport instead.

Chris Woodroofe, the managing director of the Manchester Airport, said he was sorry for the delays and that staff were "making sure the impact [did] not carry on" into the coming days.

The disruption was caused by a "fault" with a cable at the airport, which sent a surge of power across the electrical network, he said.

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