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FULL STORY:Luggage woes end for Brits

Barry Alleyne

FULL STORY:Luggage woes end for Brits

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More than 200 British tourists who were stranded without luggage in Barbados on Sunday are only now starting to enjoy their holiday.
The 200 Brits had to sleep at their hotels Sunday night without their personal property after officials at Grantley Adams International Airport were unable to open the aircraft’s cargo compartment door moments after the flight touched down from its 4 200-mile journey, that started at London’s Gatwick Airport.
The flight, which had 288 passengers on its inward journey, was forced to fly back to London, where Virgin officials opened the door, retrieved the luggage, and sent it back to Barbados on another flight on Monday.
In total, the luggage flew 13 000 miles before being delivered to owners.
Virgin’s marketing coordinator Beverly Layne said the company made sure the passengers were not inconvenienced for more than 24 hours, and had the luggage returned on flight VS029 on Monday, the next flight into Barbados.
“The company made sure all the luggage was delivered to them at their respective hotels. We did receive about four enquiries from passengers before the luggage had been returned,” Layne added.
On Sunday, Virgin staff informed the 200 frustrated passengers that their cases were locked in the rear hold of the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 jumbo jet and the ground crew at Grantley Adams Airport couldn’t open the door to get them out.
Eventually engineers in Bridgetown gave up, and the bags were flown the 4 200 miles back to Gatwick for experts to work out how to open the hold door.
It meant passengers who had set off from rainy Britain in winter clothes at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday were forced to wait until 6:15 p.m. Monday to get their bags.
“The luggage was in the hold but it was as if they forgot the key that opened it,” one frustrated passenger said to the DAILY MAIL newspaper in London yesterday.
Toby Radford, the newly appointed assistant head coach to the West Indies cricket team, was on the flight and had all his clothes and sports equipment in the hold.
“It had already been a bumpy flight, so we were all glad to land but when we got into the baggage reclaim area it was crazy,” Radford said in an interview yesterday.