%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%British air passengers are facing delays following a Europe-wide computer problem affecting luggage.
At Heathrow airport, some flights were leaving late, with some passengers facing the possibility of having to fly without their hold luggage.
British Airways was one of the many airlines affected. One passenger, Dan Rivers, took to Twitter to say his BA flight had departed "minus 100 bags".
A BA spokesman said: "We are doing all we can to minimise disruption caused by an IT failure which is affecting the performance of baggage systems at numerous airports.
"We are very sorry if customers have not received their baggage and we will reunite them as quickly as possible."
A spokesman for management at Heathrow said: "We are aware that there is a European issue with the Sita system that manages bags for some airlines.
"We understand that Sita is applying a fix to the problem and we hope that it will be resolved soon. In the meantime airlines that are affected are processing bags manually. The problem is causing some delays but is not currently causing any flight cancellations at Heathrow."
A spokesman for Gatwick airport said: "The IT issue with SITA has been resolved. Gatwick's contingency
plans worked well and there were no issues with lost baggage or delayed flights."
The five worst holiday disasters
Flight delays over luggage glitch
If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.
If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.
This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered.
If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company.
Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.
Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.
If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.
If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.
The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.
The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.
If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.