Gatwick Airport is providing extra baggage handlers this weekend amid reports travellers could face long delays. 

The airport is supplementing baggage staff by up to 25% after contractor Swissport failed to meet service standards.

According to reports Swissport has struggled to cope with demand because it employs zero-hours contact staff who do not want to work weekends.

Gatwick accepted the service has been “frustrating” and “disappointing”.

Last week passengers were told to go home without their luggage amid long delays.

A spokesperson said: “At Gatwick, we want to provide a great experience and we are disappointed that recent baggage issues have affected too many passengers.

“We have established service standards for our own staff, as well as for ground handling agents, who supply services to airlines such as unloading baggage from aircraft and delivering them to the baggage hall. Recently, Swissport has failed to meet these standards. Although bags are being delivered on time for 95% of flights, this is not good enough.

“This has been frustrating for passengers and we are disappointed with the recent arrival baggage service. Swissport has committed to getting this right, and we are working closely with them to help. Gatwick is providing additional staff. Although we are not permitted to unload the aircraft, we are assisting with transport of bags to the terminal and the unloading of bags onto belts. We’ve also introduced a free baggage home delivery service for those who prefer not to wait.

“We are committed to providing an excellent service every day and will continue work with our handlers and airlines to deliver the high standards of service we expect.”