Footage has emerged of passengers at Manchester Airport clambering through a baggage carousel in an attempt to retrieve their own luggage following three-hour delays. Watch below:
Armed police were also filmed on the scene, with one passenger saying that law enforcement officials were ‘walking around closing shutters’.
Delays were so long on Thursday (2 June) that baggage handler Swissport was forced to issue an apology, noting that airport peak periods were 'exacerbating resource challenges across the recovering aviation industry'.
One passenger spoke to Manchester Evening News about what she had witnessed in the luggage collection hall at terminal three.
The 36-year-old holidaymaker from Oldham had filmed the footage and explained to the outlet: “Passengers got annoyed because they could not get any answers. People were climbing and crawling through the curtain on the carousel belt trying to find their own luggage. The bags were there, but there was no one to put them onto the carousel.
"I do not think that anyone got their bags, but I don't know, and the police came armed. They were closing shutters and walking around making the point. People were just trying to get their own bags back. The carousel belts were not moving and no one was there to help us."
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson told LADbible the officers’ presence wasn’t unusual, saying: “There are always armed officers at the airport.”
When approached by LADbible, a Manchester Airport representative pointed out that the baggage claim process is managed by airlines, not the airport itself.
Manchester Airport has dominated UK headlines in recent weeks as dozens of travellers shared stories of lengthy delays and cancelled holidays.
On 25 May, a photo was uploaded to Reddit showing queues at the airport snaking all the way out into the carpark at terminal three.
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport told LADbible at the time: “Queues out to the car park are actually pretty standard given space inside some of the terminals is quite tight so they are often purposefully used to ease congestion inside.”
They added: “We apologise to any passengers whose experience at Manchester Airport this morning was not how they would like it to be.
“During our ongoing recovery from the pandemic, we continue to advise customers there may be some times when security queues are longer than usual, which is why we advise people to arrive three hours before their flights.”
Travel chaos at UK airports is thought to be partly down to the fact that many passengers are using vouchers and credit notes from trips cancelled due to covid, according to The Guardian.
What’s more, lots of people are travelling abroad for the first time since the start of the pandemic, resulting in a ‘pent-up demand’ for holidays.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester Evening News