Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Saturday, 5 April 2008 14:19 UK

Fresh baggage woes at Terminal 5

Heathrow Terminal 5
Cancellations will continue on Saturday at Terminal 5

Hopes of Heathrow's Terminal 5 operating its first full schedule of flights have been scuppered by a new glitch with the baggage system.

Airport operator BAA's computer system which sorts bags before they are loaded onto flights malfunctioned and manual sorting had to be carried out.

British Airways cancelled 24 flights to and from Terminal 5 on Saturday due to the latest baggage problems.

The terminal suffered baggage problems within hours of opening nine days ago.

A spokeswoman described the situation on Saturday as "incredibly disappointing" but said the airline was working with BAA to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

BAA said the problem was entirely its responsibility.

Minimise disruption

A spokeswoman said: "We apologise to BA and all passengers who have been affected, and we assure them that our specialist staff are working hard to resolve the problem and keep disruption to BA's operation to a minimum.

"We know what the problem is. We have a potential solution and we are having to carefully consider how and when we apply this to avoid further problems."

BA had hoped to operate a full schedule on Saturday for the first time since the problems which hit the terminal's opening day.

Almost 250 flights in and out of T5 were cancelled during its first four days because of glitches with its new baggage-handling system, a temporary suspension of luggage check-in and staff familiarisation problems.

Before Saturday's baggage problems emerged, it was thought that about 9,000 bags still need to be returned to their owners - down from 28,000 which were delayed during the past week.

The airline said its problems were expected to cost it about 16m.

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