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Airport 'nightmare' as passengers landing in Spain find bags scattered across floor

By Ethan Davies & Sara Odeen-Isbister

A man described the start of his holiday to Spain as a "nightmare" after flight passengers' bags were left strewn all over the airport floor.

Phil Burke, who flew in from Manchester to celebrate a friend's birthday, had just landed in Malaga and was about to pick up his luggage when he saw the sea of scattered suitcases.

The conveyor belt had stopped working, it emerged - so passengers had to sort the bags themselves and no staff were on hand to help.

Mr Burke, who lives in Rochdale and works as councillor, told Manchester Evening News some holidaymakers even stuck their heads through the entrance to the conveyor belt to ask for assistance, but go no response.

"It’s been a bit of a nightmare," he said. “We were 20 minutes late with leaving, but we got through security alright. We went downstairs [at Malaga] and two conveyors had stopped. There were 60 or 70 bags all over the floor.

"People had to go through the bags themselves.

Phil Burke flew to Malaga to celebrate a friend's birthday (Getty Images)

“There was no-one around to ask for assistance. It only needed a key to turn it back on. It took 25 minutes to get a rep from Tui to come down — he said they were fixing the other one. People were sticking their heads through the gap to shout to get their bags sorted. They had connections [to catch].”

Ultimately, it took Phil 25 minutes to find his bag, and says he is ‘alright’ and has not lost anything in the chaos. However, there was some more panic as another flight from Leeds-Bradford was set to land shortly after, adding to the pile of suitcases.

Phil continued: “What started out to be a nice break to celebrate someone’s birthday — we have been 20 minutes late and this. I just felt sorry for the people have to make connections.

“There was no help whatsoever. It took about 25 minutes [to get my bag]. I have got it, I’m alright. There were still quite a few people after me.”

Despite flying out from Manchester, which has faced numerous issues over the past few weeks with queues, Phil said the terminals ‘ran like clockwork’ that morning. He added: “Check in was alright, security was fine. I was there at 2am, four hours before my flight. I did not want to risk turning up two hours before getting stuck.

“There was quite a lot of people at 1.40am. It was a reasonable size queue. We went straight through security, that opened at 3am. It’s nice that it is another airport and not Manchester!

“We took it in our stride. The people were quite nice in making sure they got everyone their bag. That’s just Manchester people for you.”

Manchester Evening News has contacted Malaga airport for comment.

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Dive Deeper:
Airport 'nightmare' as Manchester passengers landing in Malaga find bags scattered across floor
'There were 60 or 70 bags all over the floor and people were sticking their heads through the gap to…
'Nightmare' start to Malaga holiday as passengers find bags dumped on floor
One person said there were around '60 or 70 bags all over the floor'
Woman in Mallorca slams her 'hopeless situation' after Manchester flight
Jill O'Callaghan flew from Manchester to Mallorca - but arrived without her luggage. TUI have since apologised
Mixed bag at Manchester Airport as some complain about 'disgraceful' security queues - while others 'sail through'
Airport bosses say you should arrive three hours before your flight
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
‘The job kills any life really’: secrets of a UK airport security officer
Stansted and others launch hiring drive, but staff talk of 4am starts, low pay and hours on their feet
TUI passenger 'has to spend £700 on clothes and essentials' after suitcase lost
Left with just the clothes she wore on the plane for a few days, Jill has since spent £700 on…
Get all your news in one place