Gatwick hires additional staff ahead of crunch weekend

Gatwick hires additional staff ahead of crunch weekend

Gatwick is seeking to avoid a repeat of the baggage chaos which affected passengers last weekend as it prepares for some of the busiest days of the summer.

Last weekend some passengers were forced to fly without bags, while people arriving at the airport had to wait hours for their luggage.

In response Gatwick said it would be providing additional staff.

Although these staff we are not permitted to unload aircraft, they would be assisting with transport of bags to the terminal and the unloading of bags onto belts.

“We’ve also introduced a free baggage home delivery service for those who prefer not to wait,” the airport said in a statement.

Gatwick said, depending on the airlines concerned, it will make the offer to passengers if they have to wait 90 minutes or an hour to get their baggage.

Airport authorities lay the blame for last weekend’s incident at the door of handler Swissport.

“Recently, Swissport has failed to meet these standards.

“Although bags are being delivered on time for 95 per cent of flights, this is not good enough,” A Gatwick spokesperson explained.

Monarch Airlines earlier told baggage-handler Swissport it would be terminating its contract at Gatwick amid continuing problems.

Monarch has already moved to use alternative provider Menzies at Luton and Birmingham airports, and has put Swissport on 120 days’ notice at Gatwick and Manchester.