Planes have been forced to take off from Gatwick without passengers’ bags after a technical fault.
A breakdown of the baggage belt has also led to long queues at check-in desks at the airport’s North Terminal.
Passengers face flight delays while others will arrive at their destination without luggage, the airport confirmed, apologising for “any inconvenience”.
EasyJet, one of the affected airlines, said passengers’ bags would be returned “as soon as possible”.
Passengers reported delays of more than five hours, with queues at check-in of up to an hour.
Sue Tranter, who was due to fly at 08:00 BST, said she had been transferred to a 12:20 flight, which is now due to take off at 14:15.
She said: “It’s a shambles. EasyJet do not seem to know what is going on and so far we have only had one employee apologise to us.”
Gatwick said engineers were working to resolve the issue “as quickly as possible”.
“Any passengers who have missed flights because of the resulting congestion at bag drop are being offered free transfers to alternative flights,” EasyJet said.
“We are both working closely with the airport team to minimise the disruption and return luggage to our passengers as soon as possible.”
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