Manchester Airport chaos leaves TUI passengers stranded without luggage

Sunday's power cut at Manchester Airport has left hundreds of passengers stranded without their luggage, causing travel chaos.

While some airlines cancelled services, others decided to keep holiday flights going, leading to many flights leaving without the luggage. Since then, airlines have been trying to reunite bags with their owners on alternative flights from Manchester and other airports.

However, many holidaymakers were today (June 26) still in the same clothes they wore on Sunday, while others have spent a small fortune buying replacements - even from charity shops - as their bags remain missing. Despite Manchester Airport bosses declaring it 'business as usual' by Sunday night, with security and baggage systems back up and running after the power cut, the outage had knock-on effects for the airlines and their ground handling agents.

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Chloe McLeod, from Bury, managed to fly out to Menorca with TUI on Sunday with her children for a £3,000 all-inclusive trip but her luggage missed the flight.

Speaking from the holiday island, she told the M.E.N: "When we landed in Menorca, we went to collect our bags and there were loads of TUI reps who said nobody’s luggage was there. All that came through was prams.

"We were fortunate because some people didn’t have their medication or their baby’s formula milk. I just wanted to go home at that point, we had nothing.

"All we had were the clothes on our back, some snacks from the plane and the kids' iPads. No essential toiletries or extra clothing."

She said that TUI have since offered to compensate those affected with £100 per missing bag, but the form they must fill in will take ‘up to 28 days’ to reimburse.

"We have already spent around 500 euros on clothes and essentials to get us through," she said. "There is nowhere to buy underwear, even for our children.

"We had a message from TUI saying the suitcases were coming yesterday and we get our hopes up. We can’t enjoy our holiday as we don’t have anything. I have a three-year-old, if she has an accident I’ve got nothing for her to change into. There’s so many of us affected, we are all swapping clothes and hand washing them.

"There is a running joke that we know who has no luggage because they are wearing ‘I love Menorca’ t-shirts. We keep getting told different things, I think Jet2 are having the same issues.

"I’m really stressed because there are items in that suitcase, I had borrowed my mum’s Dyson airwrap and the suitcases from my friend, the compensation wouldn’t cover them or the contents of the suitcases if they’re gone. It’s just frustrating.

"It’s a lesson learned to always put extra in your hand luggage - but you don’t think to do that though."

She added the family had spent £3,000 on the all-inclusive and so hadn’t brought many euros out with them. "We brought 500 euros with us and we’ve spent 490 - we didn’t think we’d need to use it and had planned to go on a boat trip - we can’t do that now."

Sales Manager David Edmonds, 59, from Denton, and his wife Julie, splashed out £1,650 for a holiday to Spain to mark the beginning of his 60th birthday celebrations. But like many travellers their plans were thrown into chaos when they arrived at Manchester Airport at 3am on Sunday morning to find it was in the grip of a power cut which had halted flights scheduled to depart from terminals 1 and 2.

Three hours later, their TUI flight eventually flew out of Manchester at 9am but by the time it had landed at Malaga Airport none of the bags due on board had made it, according to David.

Shortly before landing, the captain had informed the passengers 'most' of their luggage hadn't made it but moments after landing ALL the passengers on board received a text confirming their bags were still in Manchester, he said.

The apologetic text said the company had been unable to load their bags and blamed 'major disruption beyond our control in Manchester'. It went on that staff were 'in the process of re-uniting you with your bags' and that they were entitled to £100 compensation per bag.

"Everybody on the flight got a text at the same time. It was ping ping ping. It's been an absolute catalogue of disasters," said David.

Today (Wednesday) the couple, staying at Hotel Riu Monica on the Costa Del Sol, were still without their luggage which includes prescription drugs and other valuables.

David said: "We've spent three or four hours shopping for clothing. It's an absolute joke. I reckon we've spent around about £400 so far. There are people here who are still in the same clothing and people who are going to charity shops."

A TUI spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise to our customers impacted by the disruption caused by the power outage at Manchester airport on Sunday 23rd June. We understand how disappointing it is for customers when a delay of this nature takes place and it’s not the way we wanted their holiday to start.

"Unfortunately, some customers had to travel on holiday without their bags due to the inoperable baggage system at Manchester Airport. We would like to reassure customers that the vast majority of bags have now arrived at their intended destinations, and we will reunite all customers with their luggage within the next 24 hours."

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "Airlines' ground handling teams have been managing the luggage that did not make it on to flights and always ensure that it is absolutely safe and secure. The majority of the luggage that did not make it onto flights on Sunday has either made it to its owner or is in the process of getting there.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience Sunday's power outage caused and have been working closely with airlines, their appointed ground handling teams and other partners to ensure all passengers are reunited with their bags as soon as possible."