06/03/2012 09:59 GMT | Updated 05/05/2012 10:12 BST

Passengers Arrive In Barbados Only To Watch Luggage Fly Back To London

Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet arrived in Barbados only to find that their luggage was flying back to London, it was revealed.

The problem arose when staff at Barbados airport could not open the rear hold door of the Boeing 747.

It was decided to take the plane back to Gatwick, leaving around 200 of the 288 passengers without their bags.

Disgruntled travellers on flight VS029, who had seen their bags flying off on Sunday, were finally reunited with their luggage on Monday evening.

Virgin apologised to passengers, saying that every effort had been made to get the door open in Barbados.

Former first-class cricketer Toby Radford, who is now working with the West Indies team, was among the passengers and had clothes and sports equipment in the hold of the aircraft.

He told the Daily Mail: "It had already been a bumpy flight so we were all glad to land but when we got into the baggage reclaim area, it was crazy.

"It was left to local admin staff to explain the situation. There were some children on board. Some passengers were boarding cruise ships and worried about not receiving their luggage in time."

Radford, from Newbury in Berkshire, said he had been "walking around the Caribbean in my jeans and long-sleeved shirt" and had "nothing other than my laptop with me.

The flight had left Gatwick at 10.30am on Sunday and landed in Barbados at 2.45pm local time that day.

Virgin said today that the aircraft had arrived back in the UK on Monday and the fault was rectified, with the plane returning to Barbados at 2.45pm local time yesterday.

A Virgin spokesman added: "We would like to sincerely apologise to all customers affected. Every effort was made to open the luggage door manually in Barbados following a technical issue.

"The fault has now been rectified and passengers have now been reunited with their luggage."