Manchester Airport passengers separated from luggage after power cut

Luggage piled up in terminals one and two of  Manchester Airport following the power cut
Luggage piled up in terminals one and two of Manchester Airport following the power cut - PAUL COUSANS/ZENPIX

Holidaymakers have been separated from their medication and luggage after a power cut at Manchester Airport caused a day of chaos.

About 140 flights, including long-haul journeys to Singapore, New York and Dubai, were cancelled at Britain’s third-busiest airport.

Some 90,000 travellers are thought to have been impacted by the power cut at 1.30am on Sunday, which shut down the passport and baggage systems. This led to hours-long queues and piles of luggage in terminals one and two of the airport.

Passengers faced hours-long queues at the airport
Passengers faced hours-long queues at the airport - PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS

When flights resumed later in the day, some took off without luggage in an effort to clear runways.

By Monday morning, most of the airport was operating as normal, although there were delays on some flights as airlines scrambled to resume their planned schedule.

Some airlines, including Tui and Jet2, ran extra flights to get customers to their destinations.

But many holidaymakers had not been reunited with their luggage by Monday afternoon, leaving them without the essentials, including personal medication.

One traveller, Beth Denton, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that she had been left in Split, Croatia, without her medication, which she said she “urgently needed”.

She wrote: “We are island-hopping so it needs sorting ASAP.”

Jo Slater, a holidaymaker in Ibiza, wrote on social media that she was “praying” that her luggage would arrive from Manchester on Monday morning. “My husband has medication in the case. This is spoiling our well-deserved break away,” she said.

Another holidaymaker who landed in Oludeniz in Turkey for a family holiday without their luggage told The Telegraph that they had been wearing the same clothes since Saturday evening.

They said that they have been told that their baggage will not arrive for another three days.

The airline Jet2 said that it has sent an extra team from its UK head office to Manchester to help clear the backlog of luggage.

A spokesman said: “We will be directly contacting all customers as soon as we have updates about when they can expect to be reunited with their baggage.”

Jet2 said it was sending an extra team from its head office to help clear the backlog of luggage
Jet2 said it was sending an extra team from its head office to help clear the backlog of luggage - BRADLEY CASLIN/ISTOCK

Travellers left without luggage should keep their receipts and claim the money back, but airlines will only pay out for “reasonable” expenses.

Manchester Airport said that airlines would be in touch with passengers to make sure their belongings are returned to them “as soon as possible”.

Passengers will not be entitled to compensation from their airlines because the delays and cancellations were outside their control.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Passengers will be deeply frustrated by the chaos at Manchester Airport, which has resulted in disrupted travel plans for thousands.

“As the cause of the disruption was outside of airlines’ control, compensation will not be payable. However, airlines still have a legal duty of care to their passengers.

“This means carriers should have been providing assistance during the delay itself, such as food and overnight accommodation, if required, as well as offering prompt rerouting to get people to their final destination, including with other airlines, if necessary.”

The consumer campaigner Helen Dewdney, of The Complaining Cow, said: “It’s out of the airlines’ control and therefore comes under extraordinary circumstances, so they do not have to pay compensation.”

Gary Rycroft, a consumer lawyer and expert, said that while the airport does have a duty of care to passengers, travellers would need to prove financial loss before they could make a claim directly.