Heathrow descended into chaos yesterday (17 June) as travellers were faced with a huge mountain of uncollected luggage.
Due to what was described as a 'technical issue' with the bagging system, a number of passengers arrived at Terminal 2 to discover piles of suitcases lining the floor.
Others were told they may not be reunited with their belongings for up to two days.
The news arrives as the UK's airports buckle under the pressure of Covid-related staff shortages, with delayed flights, huge queues and lost luggage causing chaotic scenes in recent weeks.
Speaking about the latest debacle at Heathrow, Sky News' defence and security editor Deborah Haynes said she arrived at Terminal 2 yesterday evening to find 'warning signs' at the baggage claim.
Heathrow, Terminal 2… ☹️ pic.twitter.com/iuaFfptruH— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) June 17, 2022
"There were clusters of suitcases without owners grouped around various conveyor belts," she said. "I wondered where the owners were."
Haynes went on to tell the outlet: "Then when I stepped outside I could see this crazy mass of suitcases filling the pavement like an enormous luggage carpet.
"I've never seen anything like it. Though it did seem to be trying to be organised chaos.
"Officials looked to be trying to arrange the suitcases next to poles with letters from the alphabet stuck on them - maybe it was to correspond with the name of the owner of each bag. It looked to be an epic task."
She wasn't the only Sky News reporter to witness the disorder, as the publication's international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn was also at the Heathrow terminal last night.
"Passengers are being told they may not get their luggage for two days," he said. "One passenger was overheard saying 'but I'm climbing Kilimanjaro tomorrow I need all my stuff'."
Elsewhere on social media, one Twitter user shared a clip of the luggage pile alongside the caption: "Heathrow, Terminal 2…," with a sad face emoji.
In response to the clip, another said: "Boyfriend left Heathrow to visit me in Vienna. He arrived, but his luggage is somewhere in this chaos. ffs."
A spokesperson for the airport has since apologised for the issue, telling LADbible in a statement: “Yesterday there was a technical issue with the Terminal 2 baggage system which has now been resolved.
Lost luggage has a final resting place perhaps….@HeathrowAirport T2…mine’s the black one (I think) pic.twitter.com/u0tDMTgFHj— Stuart Dempster (@StuDempster) June 17, 2022
"Passengers are now able to check-in as normal, but a number of passengers who departed from Terminal 2 yesterday may have travelled without their luggage.
"We are working closely with airlines to reunite passengers with their luggage as soon as possible. We’re sorry there’s been disruption to passenger journeys.”