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Travellers told to bring bags to airport night before they fly to avoid delays

British Airways has been urging passengers to bring their luggage to the airport the night before their flight to beat delays, a report claims.

The flight operator has been asking travellers to bring their bags to Heathrow Airport early after travel chaos at busy Terminal 5 earlier this week.

Heathrow’s spokesperson earlier this week said crowded scenes and delays at the airport were linked to a staff shortage as workers isolated.

BA is urging travellers to consider dropping off their bags at Heathow’s Terminal 5 between 4pm and 9pm the night before if they are due to fly before 1pm the next day, according to the Mail Online.

The message being sent by text and email to passengers by BA reportedly reads: “The airport will be busy when you fly.

Heathrow was rammed with long queues on Monday as the airport raced to sort out a staff shortage

“To save time and avoid long queues, you can check in your bag the day before you fly from 16:00 – 21:00 at London Heathrow T5.

“You can also check-in hand baggage free of charge.”

Chaos at Heathrow on Monday morning affected flights between 7am and 1pm.

Passengers waiting to board flights at the London airport shared scenes of huge queues with little social distancing the day after England’s Euro 2020 loss to Italy at Wembley Stadium.

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The airport said earlier in the day it had experienced passenger congestion in Terminal 5 departures due to staff being instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Heathrow said extra staff had been brought in to help and had sorted the problems out by Monday afternoon.

The travel and hospitality sector is reeling with a staff squeeze in recent weeks as workers are repeatedly “pinged” by the NHS Covid app.

Long queues at Heathrow on Monday
Passengers snapped pictures of long and busy queues at the airport on Monday

A BA spokesman told the Mail of the early-bird luggage request: “We are pleased to offer our long-standing twilight check-in service for customers to enable them to start their journey as relaxed as possible.”

Ministers were warned last week Brits would deleting the app in droves in frustration at the contact-tracing orders that “ping” app users to isolate after they have been near an infected person frustrate workers and threaten holiday plans.

The government has faced pressure to bring forward plans to allow double-jabbed people to avoid isolating after being contact-traced in a new system kicking in mid-August.

British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in London
British Airways are urging passengers to drop off bags at Heathrow early

It comes as holidaymakers faced more travel uncertainty today with popular destinations ditched from the UK’s green list and moved to amber.

Holidaymakers in destinations including Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca will need to return the UK by 4am Monday or face mandatory quarantine as the Balearic Islands move to the amber list.

However double-jabbed travellers can ignore the quarantine rules from July 19, as they will be able to treat amber list countries as though they are green.

Anyone who is not fully-vaccinated will have to quarantine upon return from all amber list countries.

New countries were also added to the green list today, in Transport Minister Grant Shapps’ latest update to the traffic light travel system.

Bulgaria and Hong Kong were added to the green list, and Croatia and Taiwan were added to the green watchlist.

Read the full list of countries on the red, amber and green lists as of Monday, July 19 here.

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