Air travellers were subject to delays on Thursday after the baggage handling systems in Terminals 3 and 5 failed, causing some passengers to travel without luggage.
Up to 200 flights scheduled to depart between 6.45am and 9am on 15 June were affected. Pictured emerged on social media of bags stacked in the terminal concourses, with large queues of people lining up at check-in desks.
A spokesman for British Airways, which is based at Terminal 5, apologised for the disruption, while a statement from Heathrow itself advised passengers to “pack essential items in their hand luggage.”
The mechanical failure, which has now been fixed, comes during a period of negative press for the British aviation industry. Last week, Gatwick Airport was ranked the world’s second worst airport according to a survey by AirHelp, with Manchester and Edinburgh also in the bottom six.
Heathrow was the UK’s strongest-performing airport, but only ranked in 20th position.
In May, hundreds of British Airways flights were cancelled or delayed after a power failure, leaving thousands of passengers stranded around the world.
Terminal 5 opened in 2008 and cost £4bn to build.