Heathrow Terminal 3 baggage system fault hits travellers
Passengers on some international flights from London Heathrow have been urged to only travel with hand luggage due to a baggage system fault.
Virgin Atlantic said all airlines flying out of Terminal 3 were affected, and advised customers to only take "essential items" in a carry-on bag.
Passengers could opt to have their bags flown out to them, it said, but warned this could take several days.
An airport spokesperson apologised for any disruption.
Airlines are unable to check bags in at the terminal, and many bags have already been delayed from leaving the airport.
A number of major international carriers including British Airways, American Airlines and Emirates operate flights from Terminal 3.
Virgin Atlantic said it would ensure all bags were sent out as soon as possible but this may take several days.
It added that if bags did not arrive with passengers, customers should keep hold of receipts of anything they buy and make a claim to be reimbursed.
Passengers, who were informed by e-mail of the problem, took to social media to vent their frustrations.
One branded the situation "ludicrous" and said he was only told 12 hours before his flight.
Heathrow said it could not confirm what the problem was, what had caused the issue or how many people could be affected.
"We're very sorry for any disruption to our passengers and would like to reassure them that we are working hard to resolve it as soon as possible."
BBC weather presenter Sara Thornton said her children were due to fly to Florida with their father on Thursday morning.
She said the warning about the baggage system didn't explain what the problem was.
She said: "We basically don't know what's going on. What is it? We've no idea what's wrong so you can't plan for that."
"We're now repacking their bags but we're not putting in electricals in it and will try to put as much in hand luggage as possible but that can't be big or heavy.
"There's only so much children can carry."