Passengers Get Luggage Back

Most bags have been reunited with their owners after a power cut at Gatwick Airport froze luggage carousels, forcing some travellers to fly without their belongings.

About 2,500 bags failed to make it on to the same flight as their owners following the outage at the West Sussex airport's North Terminal at about 3.30am on Saturday.

Electricity was promptly restored but the knock-on effect left eight baggage belts at a standstill until they were all brought back into action by 10.30am.

Best-selling crime thriller novelist Peter James was among the frustrated travellers after he was left without his luggage for 31 hours after flying out to the French Alps.

Officials at Gatwick - the world's busiest single-runway airport - have apologised to travellers and said they have been working "`round the clock'' with airlines and handling agents.

A statement from the airport today said a number of bags have still yet to reach travellers due to the infrequency of flights to some destinations but they will go on the next available flights.

It said: "The vast majority of bags have now been reconciled with their owners.

"Working with our airlines and their handling agents, we worked round the clock to get bags on to the next available flights.

"We have transported some bags by road to Paris and then couriered them on to various destinations in Europe.

"We also arranged for bags to be sent from other UK airports to ensure passengers received their bags over the weekend.''

Gatwick officials said airlines with spare capacity have been taking bags on behalf of rival airlines to ensure passengers received their luggage.

The statement added: "Unfortunately there are still a number of bags yet to reach passengers due to the lack of frequency of flights to certain destinations. They will be sent on the next available flights.

"If passengers need information about their bags, they are advised to contact their airline direct. We apologise for the inconvenience this is causing passengers.''