I am very happy that Monarch Airlines have decided to dispence with the services as a ground handler (Swissport) for their passengers. In February this year I was the victim of a total lack of mangement communication for passengers on a Friday Monarch Flight returning to Gatwick from Gambia.
I made my own enquiries into this and from an insider at Gatwick gleaned the following information,this problem is an ongoing industrial dispute where non management employees of Swissport, ie those who do the manual work,baggage handlers etc are EXPECTED to work their shifts as normal on Saturday and Sundays without any extra payment or allowances,to those workers affected (it was decided, according to my informant )That they would start their shifts at a more normal time (details of which my informant could not tell me ) therefore planes that landed at unsocial hours would NOT be catered for until they started their shifts on Saturday or Sunday at what they deemed to be a reasonable hour.This understandable action by the workers caused the chaos in baggage delays etc.
This is NOT the first time delays have occurred as my experience outlined above reflects.
"Gatwick said Swissport was failing to meet its service standards. The airport plans to bring in extra staff of its own to cope with baggage handling. Swissport said last weekend's problems were exceptional and should not be repeated. It has blamed the delays on too many aircraft arriving in quick succession - either late or early - which it called "off-schedule arrivals"."