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Winter whiteout disrupts baggage handling at Helsinki Airport

Finnair said on Friday that as many as 3,000 of their customers' bags remain stranded at Finland largest international airport, after a snowstorm threw things into disarray.

Lumipyry Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasemalla.
Thursday's snowstorm blanketed Finland's largest international airport in white. Image: AOP

Thursday's blizzard threw a spanner in the works for flight operations and baggage handling at the Helsinki Airport.

Finnair customer service personnel had their hands full Friday as they dealt with luggage orphaned by flights that were delayed and cancelled due to extremely poor weather. Finnair said on Friday that as many as 3,000 of their customers' bags remain stranded at the airport.

"Loading and unloading planes was incredibly difficult on Thursday evening due to snow and a slippery airfield," said Finnair communications chief Päivyt Tallqvist.

The national airline is advising passengers who may have been separated from their luggage to contact its customer service representatives. However customers are also being warned to brace for delays in service.

Finnair said that some bags had been delivered to their owners on Friday, but the work of matching luggage to passengers will continue for a few days.

Delays persist into Friday

On Thursday night none of Finnair’s long-haul flights left Helsinki on schedule. The airline said that Thursday’s delays would have a domino effect, pushing back departures on Friday as well.

"Flights have departed late, and have returned late and are also continuing their onward journeys late," Tallqvist noted.

On top of the delays, Finnair said that some 2,000 passengers have been grounded as their flights were cancelled.

Passengers are being advised to check the airline’s website and social media channels for updates on the status of their flights.

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