The return of Thief-row!
Kim Kardashian accuses BA workers of stealing handbags worth thousands and pair of 'priceless' sunglasses inherited from her dead dad
- Miss Kardashian noticed items were missing after flying via Heathrow from Nice to Los Angeles on Friday
- British Airways are investigating after reality star's fury on Twitter
- Fears security is returning to lax levels last seen in 1980s when Heathrow earned the nickname Thiefrow
- Comes just months before baggage handlers face huge surge in Olympic passenger
American reality TV star Kim Kardashian has sparked a new row over Heathrow baggage handlers after she accused British Airways workers of stealing 'irreplaceable' items from her luggage after a recent flight.
She says staff at the airport, which is already facing claims it will struggle to cope with the surge in passengers during the Olympics,may have taken several handbags and 'priceless' sunglasses she inherited from her late father.
The allegations spark new fears that security at Heathrow may be returning to the lax levels last seen in the 1980s when it was nicknamed Thiefrow due to its reputation for high rates of luggage theft.
Furious: Kim Kardashian accused BA of stealing a pair of sunglasses given her by her late father Robert, right, who served as the lawyer sensationally who helped clear OJ Simpson of murder
Supermodel Naomi Campbell also accused BA staff of stealing her possessions during the 2008 baggage debacle and claimed she was a 'martyr' after being arrested for assaulting two police officers at Terminal 5.
Miss Kardashian, whose father Robert was the lawyer who sensationally helped clear OJ Simpson of murder, arrived back in Los Angeles on Friday night after flying from Nice via Heathrow.
She is said to have found that her luggage was significantly lighter than it had been on the way out.
On further inspection, she is reported to have discovered that the sunglasses, which Robert gave her before he died in 2003, were missing from her case.
U.S. website TMZ.com also claim that 'several extremely expensive purses and Tumi luggage' were missing.
Allegations: Miss Kardashian arriving at Heathrow on May 16 to begin her nine-day European visit, left, and back in Los Angeles on Friday with her 'lighter' bags being pushed by a minder
Trial: A dry-run at Heathrow last week saw staff deal with an extra bags in preparation for the Olympics when it will deal with 600,000 extra visitors during the games- and 43,000 more August 13 alone
Miss Kardashian had earlier written on her Twitter page: 'Very disappointed in British Airways for opening my luggage & taking some special items of mine! Some things are sentimental ¬ replaceable.
BY NUMBERS: HOW HEATHROW IS PLANNING TO COPE WITH OLYMPICS
'What happened to the days when you could lock your bags! We need to get back to that. There's no sense of security & no trust! Shame on you(sic)'
The reality star, who is back in Los Angeles after a whistle-stop promotional tour of London, and then a week at the Cannes International Film Festival, is now said to have approached BA to look into the apparent theft by analysing CCTV footage.
She arrived at Heathrow on May 16, spent nine days travelling before returning home on May 25.
It is understood that she may take the matter to the police if the airline do not provide a satisfactory response.
British Airways, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2009, is expecting to have one of its busiest summer ever as the main airliner carrying visitors to the Olympics.
Heathrow, which will handle 80 per cent of Games traffic, is - at peak traffic - expected to handle up to 50,000 extra bags a day as it deals with an additional 600,000 passengers during the course of the sporting spectacle.
Last week staff successfully carried out a dry run in practice for the Olympics when the processed 3,000 extra bags an hour.
Rant: Kim had earlier taken to her Twitter to comment on the missing items
But memories of the 2008 Terminal 5 baggage debacle - when thousands of passengers at BA's exclusive hub - were left waiting days to be reunited with their luggage will make it hard for passengers to trust that chaos will not be repeated.
Outlining fears, The Australian newspaper published a picture of a stack of bags following last week's test run with the headline: ‘50,000 extra reasons not to visit London during Olympics’.
Arrest: Naomi Campbell is escorted from Heathrow in 2008 after she assaulted two police officers when she learned that one of her bags was missing
Huge queues at immigration have also prompted worries that Heathrow will not be able to cope with the increase in passengers.
Yesterday a member of the International Olympic Committee said Heathrow was a ‘nightmare’ after taking two hours to clear passport checks.
Barbara Kendall, 44, from New Zealand, tweeted: ‘Heathrow Airport Immigration is a nightmare!! took me 2 hours to get through and it is not Olympic time yet.’
Richard Branson today told ITV News the queues have been have been 'embarrassing'.
Regarding Miss Kardashian's allegeations, a spokesman for British Airways said: 'We are continuing to investigate this matter.
'Our customer travelled from Nice to Heathrow Terminal 5 to Los Angeles.
'Terminal 5 has some of the most sophisticated automated baggage systems in the world, which are able to monitor bags every minute of their time in the terminal.
'At this stage, we have discovered no evidence to suggest that the bag in question was interfered with at Heathrow.
'Our investigation is also seeking to establish details of the bag's passage through Nice and Los Angeles airports.'
A spokesman for BAA, the owners of Heathrow, said: ‘There are high levels of security at Heathrow. Passenger bags are electronically tracked and recorded throughout the system.