Extra workers have been drafted in ahead of one of the busiest holiday getaway weekends of the year. 

Last weekend, passengers faced delays of up to five hours to retrieve their bags due to critical staff shortages on Saturday and Sunday, with some travellers waiting days to obtain their luggage. 

A Gatwick Airport spokesperson said the site was operating well and passengers booked to fly through Gatwick this weekend were advised to do so as planned.

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

They said no departing passengers were affected as some reports inaccurately suggested.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

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

The Daily Mail has reported Swissport, the baggage handling firm at the centre of the fiasco, said it was taking on more than 40 extra staff at Gatwick this weekend in a bid to avert yet another crisis.

The Swiss firm is contracted to provide baggage handlers for British Airways, Virgin, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Monarch at all major airports in the UK.

Airport bosses and unions blame Swissport for chronic failures and staff shortages which led to last weekend’s fiasco when 400,000 passengers passed though the airport.

Swissport has apologised for the chaos and said it ‘is disappointed we have fallen below our standards and will do all possible to ensure the travelling public are not inconvenienced in any way’.

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