Moment airline pilot helps baggage crew on runway as MORE bags pile up at Heathrow & Gatwick cancels flights

THIS is the moment a frustrated pilot loaded baggage onto his plane after suitcases piled up at Heathrow and flights from Gatwick were axed.

There have been chaotic scenes at British airports for weeks, with some passengers told their hols had been cancelled after they arrived at terminals.

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A pilot helped load luggage onto a badly-delayed plane at Edinburgh amid chaotic scenes at airports across the UK
It comes as a 'carpet of luggage' built up at Heathrow after a technical glitch on Friday

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It comes as a ‘carpet of luggage’ built up at Heathrow after a technical glitch on FridayCredit: Splash
Passengers could face a two-day wait to be reunited with their bags

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Passengers could face a two-day wait to be reunited with their bagsCredit: Getty
Customers at Stansted have also faced misery today, with one customer complaining of scenes like a 'shoot-out' as flights were delayed by more than six hours

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Customers at Stansted have also faced misery today, with one customer complaining of scenes like a ‘shoot-out’ as flights were delayed by more than six hoursCredit: Bav Media

And after facing delays to take off, one captain stepped out of the cabin to help put travellers’ bags on a jet from Edinburgh to Edelweiss.

Elsewhere, dramatic photos show hundreds of bags dumped at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 as exhausted tourists are told to head home without their belongings.

Problems at the UK’s busiest airport began on Friday, with bosses blaming a “technical glitch”.

But the backlog has caused a “carpet of luggage”, with suitcases abandoned on floors.

Customers have been warned they may not have their bags for days.

A spokesperson admitted there is “ongoing disruption”, although insisted there are no further delays today.

And the situation will likely persist for weeks to come after the airport cut passenger capacity by a third until July in a bid to stem the flow of people passing through its terminals.

Without putting measures in place, its buildings would not be safe, chiefs warn.

“We unreservedly apologise for the technical issues with our baggage systems that have impacted passengers this weekend,” reps said.

“We are working round the clock with airlines to re-unite passengers with their bags as quickly as possible.

“There may be some lingering disruption from yesterday’s technical baggage issues and we ask passengers to check with their airlines before travelling to the airport.”

Huge queues have also built at Stansted, with passengers forced to sleep on floors overnight as flights were delayed by more than six hours.

Ryanair is one of the main airlines to fly in and out of the busy airport – but customers have complained of poor service and whopping queues.

FLIGHTMARE

One would-be traveller said their flight was due to depart at 5pm last night, but was still to depart after 11pm.

Another said the situation at 3am was like a “shoot-out”, with “no rules” and “bodies scattered all over the floor”.

Officials at Stansted said 38,000 people are expected to depart from the airport today, while average queue times between 4am and 7am were around 12 minutes.

However, there have been problems because the first Stansted Express train to the airport was cancelled this morning, meaning more customers arrived at the same time.

The issue was worsened because of staff sickness, which reduced the number of security lanes available, the spokesperson said.

And Gatwick Airport announced this week it would cancel 4,000 flights this summer.

PLANE MAD

Daily flights will be capped at 825 in July and 850 in August – compared to 900 a day during the same period in previous years.

It means an estimated 80,000 people will have their summer plans ruined.

Easyjet and British Airways are among the companies to axe many short-haul flights from the hub.

The disarray led to tragedy earlier this week, when a disabled man left waiting on a plane fell to his death in Gatwick’s North Terminal.

Meanwhile, Manchester Airport urged passengers to arrive even earlier following disruption and long security queues.

Stansted is like a shoot-out with bodies scattered all over the floor

It comes as Brit travellers face a “summer of discontent”, with national rail strikes and petrol hitting £2 a litre.

Many airline let staff go during the pandemic, when there was a drop in passenger numbers.

However, with restrictions at an end, airports and travel companies are struggling to deal with a surge of business.

Industry figures have blamed the Government, calling on ministers to offer more support so problems don’t stretch on into the summer.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, warned it will take 12 to 18 months before the industry can get its capacity back to pre-pandemic levels.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today put pressure on airports to increase the pay of workers including baggage handlers.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “If you look at baggage handlers, for example, I don’t think they’ve had the best deals and the best packages in the past.

“I think we’ve got to make those jobs worthwhile, well-paid and comfortable jobs to do.”

Experts say afternoon flights later in the week have the best chance of success.

Chiefs at Stansted say those who arrived between 4am and 7am today were processed within 12 minutes

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Chiefs at Stansted say those who arrived between 4am and 7am today were processed within 12 minutesCredit: n.c
Some 4,000 flights from Gatwick will be cancelled this summer as the chaos continues

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Some 4,000 flights from Gatwick will be cancelled this summer as the chaos continuesCredit: EPA
At Manchester, passengers have been warned they must arrive even earlier than planned to beat the queues and get to their flights on time

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At Manchester, passengers have been warned they must arrive even earlier than planned to beat the queues and get to their flights on timeCredit: Zenpix

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