Heathrow airport's week of chaos continues with delays and queues

Passengers who landed on Friday morning had to wait more than an hour for their luggage

Heathrow Airport has been hit by a week of delays and setbacks for passengers. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
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Heathrow Airport on Friday was hit by a morning of chaos, capping a week of delays at check-in and arrival areas that prompted a slew of complaints and widespread criticism.

Passengers who landed at the west London airport on Friday morning reported being held on planes on the runway while others had to wait for ore than an hour for their bags to be unloaded from aircraft.

There were also delays at passport control in several terminals, where some e-gates appeared to be out of operation.

Richard Slaughter tweeted a video showing people queueing to check in at British Airways and Qatar Airways desks, and claimed they had been standing in line for more than an hour. He said "things are getting heated" as passengers, some with young children, appeared to be growing weary of the long wait.

"Why is it that we've been said in a queue for more than an hour that hasn't moved at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, having been advised by you to get here at least 4 hours early? Asking us to get here extra early to make us stand around doing nothing is frankly cruel."

Earlier this week Heathrow was hit by a series of delays that prompted a backlash on Twitter. Passengers reported having to join a queue a quarter of a mile long after they disembarked their flight.

Paul Brand on Friday said the airport “unrest is brewing” as he and other passengers had to wait more than an hour for their bags.

“Heathrow Airport please sort your self-service passport control booths,” he tweeted. “Massive queue and only 7 of 25 were open. Why? Bad management? As for reclaim??? Crazy.

“Major issue getting bags from plane to reclaim hall,” he aid. “People waiting over an hour. Unrest is brewing.”

Jane Archer was among the travellers who demanded answers from Heathrow over the number of e-gates at Terminal 3’s immigration checks that were out of action.

“Heathrow Airport has anyone in power noticed the chaos at T3?” she tweeted. “Electronic gates not working. Hundreds seeking assistance and just two people on duty. Surely you can do better than this.”

Andy Bond vented his anger over the delay in baggage handling. “Heathrow Airport, what’s the deal with baggage today?” he said.

“My whole flight has been waiting over 55 minutes for our baggage to turn up in Terminal 3. Not ideal after 12 hours of travel already and another three to go.”

Helen Owen, another traveller forced to wait around for her bags slammed the “shocking service” at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. “Over an hour waiting for luggage in baggage claim. At what point do you provide water and refreshments? Beyond tedious now.”

And Michael Keane said he was being prevented from disembarking his British Airways flight 40 minutes after it landed. He said he and his fellow passengers had been told that all flights heading out of Terminal 5 had been delayed.

“What is going on?” he said.

Heathrow Airport through the years

Updated: April 04, 2022, 7:41 AM