British Airways is sending thousands of bags to Milan to be sorted because staff cannot cope with the massive backlog.
A spokesman for the airline said 20,000 bags remain separated from their owners after a wave of cancellations over the last week. Around 10% of these, which belong to passengers from the continent, will be sent by road to Milan.
Other bags will be sent to Gatwick, Manchester and Scotland for sorting.
A BA spokesman said: “Sending baggage to Milan is established procedure for us – it’s nothing unusual.
“We hope to run more and more flights each day, we won’t be putting a date on when a 100% service will be achieved.”
A further 25 return flights have been cancelled from Terminal 5 today.