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10,000 bags misplaced at airports since alert

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Around 10,000 bags checked in by British Airways passengers have gone missing at airports since the UK security alert began, the airline says.

It said half of them are still piled up at airports waiting to be delivered back to their owners. {{more}}

A war of words has erupted between BA and airport operator BAA over who is to blame for the misplaced luggage.

Meanwhile police said another person had been arrested under terror laws in connection with the suspected plot.

The airline company is considering seeking compensation from BAA after being forced to cancel hundreds of flights.

BA boss Willie Walsh said BAA’s management had had “no adequate plan” to deal with the emergency.

All UK airports have now relaxed the restrictions on hand luggage introduced following last week’s terror alert.

BA has cancelled 700 Heathrow flights since Thursday, August 10, after requirements to check in hand luggage caused delays.

The carrier has used lorries to ferry baggage left behind at Heathrow to destinations such as Manchester, Edinburgh and Frankfurt as well as using space in its own cargo aircraft.

BA said: “We fully apologise that customers have not been able to travel with their baggage on certain flights throughout the past five days of unprecedented circumstances at Heathrow.

“This is due to a combination of issues with the BAA’s baggage systems which have all contributed to the situation.”

Analysts have speculated that lost revenues from flight cancellations could cost BA more than £40m, the amount it lost as a result of last summer’s strike by baggage handlers.

Stephen Nelson, chief executive of BAA, apologised for problems with lost baggage, but he said it wasn’t “the time for finger pointing”.

“We’re very sorry for the disruption that that has caused the passengers who’ve had their bags mishandled.

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