More disruption

Travel chaos hits the big summer getaway

Edinburgh airport
Edinburgh Airport has been hit by shortage of luggage handlers

Travellers have been warned to expect further disruption at Edinburgh Airport because of staff shortages.

Luggage handler Swissport, which services 19 airlines at the airport, including Jet2, Ryanair, KLM, Tui and Virgin Atlantic, said it was struggling to cope with the number of passengers after staff were laid off during the pandemic.

Mislaid luggage is piling up because of a shortage of handling agents and customers claim they have been left waiting at carousels for more than two hours. Hundreds of unclaimed bags are being stored at a Swissport warehouse.

Recruits are being offered up to £35 an hour to ease the backlog but insiders say it could take eight weeks for normal service to resume.

A source told the Scottish Sun on Sunday: “Try to fly with hand luggage rather than checked-in bags. It is absolute chaos and we just cannot keep up.”

A spokesman for the airport said: “Recruitment challenges have been met by many partners, including handling agents, and we are working to support them.”

Swissport said luggage loaded on to wrong flights that then arrived late to Edinburgh was part of the problem.

“We have tripled the team who are working on reuniting passengers with these bags. We apologise to passengers,” said the company.

Meanwhile, delays have begun to ease at the Port of Dover after two days of gridlock which forced families and lorry drivers to sleep in their vehicles.

Lorries parked up on the M20

However, the Kent Resilience Forum, which coordinates the county’s emergency planning, has predicted Sunday will be another challenging day, with delays and disruption for both holidaymakers and hauliers.

Port officials and Eurotunnel worked through the night to begin clearing the backlog of 1,500 lorries parked on the M20.

The delays at Dover led to clashes between French and UK officials.

The UK government said French authorities had failed to find enough border staff to check passports, demanding they resolve the “terrible situation”.

But French Transport Minister Clement Beaune hit back, saying France was not responsible for the additional border checks brought on by Brexit.

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