Bag drop desks at Heathrow T3 and T5 are now reportedly back up and running, following an earlier baggage systems failure.

The airport had been advising passengers to pack essentials in hand luggage.

Heathrow said it would “continue to monitor the situation”, and advised “passengers who have already departed on flights this morning without their baggage [to] contact their airline for further updates”.

The issues affected departing flights only – a post on the British Airways website (last updated at 0902) said that “If you are flying into London and have checked a bag in to collect at Heathrow Terminal 5 and Terminal 3, then you will be able to claim your baggage in the normal way”.

Earlier this morning Heathrow’s Twitter page carried the message:

“Heathrow is currently experiencing an issue with its baggage systems which is affecting airlines operating from Terminal 3 and Terminal 5. Other terminals are unaffected.

“This may mean passengers will travel without their bags, and we advise them to pack essential items in their hand luggage.

“We are currently investigating the issue. We are sorry for the disruption and are working hard to get the system running as soon as possible.”

BA – which has flights departing from both T3 and T5, said that it was “not able to accept bags in the normal manner”, adding that “All flights are continuing to operate as normal although flights are departing with lower than anticipated levels of baggage”.

“We are very sorry for the difficulties the failure of the Heathrow baggage systems is causing customers and we will be working as hard as we can to re-unite those customers with their luggage as quickly as possible,” the carrier said. “All bags will be delivered to customers free of charge.”

One of our forum users has reported their flight to Chile (via Amsterdam) leaving without luggage.

The baggage systems failure comes just weeks after a British Airways IT failure caused 672 flight cancellations over two days, affecting 75,000 passengers.