Gatwick adds 60 staff to reduce baggage delays

1 Aug 2014 by GrahamSmith

Gatwick Airport is bringing in an extra 60 staff to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s long baggage delays.

The airport said it is “not anticipating issues” with luggage collection this weekend, but has drafted in the additional staff to support baggage handling firm Swissport.

The move comes a day after Gatwick introduced a free luggage home delivery service and airlines warned travellers flying into the London airport this weekend that they face long luggage collection delays (see news, July 31).

A Gatwick spokesperson said: “Gatwick is operating well and passengers booked to fly through Gatwick this weekend are advised to do so as planned.

“We would like to reiterate that the issues we saw last weekend were limited to arriving bags and delivery has been good since the weekend.

“While we are not anticipating issues with arriving baggage delivery this weekend, we do have a robust contingency plan in place. This includes providing an additional 60 staff to support the Swissport operation.

“On average, bags are delivered on time for 95% of flights at Gatwick and we continue to work closely with our handlers and airlines to ensure our high service standards are met.”

Swissport today confirmed that its staffing issues are not related zero-hours contracts, as has been reported.

It also promised that it has “robust systems in place”.

The company said in a statement: “Swissport can confirm that baggage handling services to its client airlines during the period to 7am this morning was good and within its targets.

“There were no appreciable delays to Swissport customer airlines outbound or inbound at London Gatwick. Swissport can only reiterate that it has robust systems in place during the forthcoming weekend and will remain in place throughout the peak summer period.”

Last weekend, passengers arriving at Gatwick’s south terminal faced long delays in collecting their baggage, with some reportedly waiting up to three hours.

Graham Smith

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