Passengers at London Stansted Airport (STN) were left waiting for long hours after the airport’s hold baggage system experienced a server issue. 

The incident, which took place on October 17, 2021, resulted in STN check-in desks and carriers having to manually process all passenger baggage.

Passengers have taken to social media to air their frustrations.

A family who missed their flight to Lanzarote due to the baggage system failure told BBC news that “Every single passenger from every airline seemed to be in the same queue. There was no crowd control, it snaked around the entire airport, people were pushing in.” 

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson from Stansted Airport told AeroTime: “London Stansted apologises for any inconvenience caused to passengers this morning due to a technical issue affecting the airport’s hold baggage system.

“Contingency measures were immediately put in place with our airlines and their handling agents to mitigate disruption and manually process baggage while engineers worked to fix the issue.”

The issue is now fixed. However, STN is still advising passengers to arrive at the airport much earlier than usual. 

“The system is now operating as normal but passengers are still asked to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departs in accordance with their airline’s general advice,” Stansted Airport told AeroTime.

In May 2021, Stansted Airport received a major upgrade to its baggage system. Costing £70 million ($99 million), the upgrade involved the replacement of ageing conveyor belts and chutes with 2.4km (7,874ft) of track and 180 automated carts.

It is reported to be the largest baggage network upgrade since the terminal’s launch in 1991.