Issues affecting the baggage sorting system at Heathrow T3 have been resolved, following reports of passengers departing on long-haul flights without their checked luggage.

Virgin Atlantic – one of the airlines operating out of Heathrow T3 – apologised on its website for the issues which “resulted in many bags being delayed leaving London Heathrow”.

During the disruption the carrier had advised passengers that “If there is an option for customers to not travel with checked in luggage this may be preferable”, adding that travellers should “ensure any essential items to cover their needs on arrival, including any medication, are packed into their hand luggage”.

British Airways also advised its customers that “As a result of a fault with Heathrow Airport’s baggage system in Terminal 3 on Wednesday 20 July, several of our flights departed with lower than expected levels of baggage”.

“The fault has affected all airlines which use Terminal 3 for their flights.”

A spokesperson for Heathrow said that the baggage system was now working as normal, and that it was “working hard with our airline partners to reunite passengers with their bags”.

The airport was unable to give figures on how many passengers had been affected by the baggage issues.

The issues at Heathrow T3 follow weeks of baggage problems at T5 as a result of a new IT system.