Swiss Plane Leaves For Spain Without Luggage Due To Staff Shortage

A Swiss airline has set a new standard after it managed to lose everyone’s luggage while on a flight from Switzerland to Spain.

The 111 Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) passengers on board the WK226 flight to the city of Bilbao, Spain, reportedly waited by the conveyor belt for their suitcases for over two hours over the weekend after nobody told them that the luggage had not been sent.

The incident reportedly happened due to “a shortage of ground staff” on the flight operated on behalf of Edelweiss Air, the sister carrier of the Swiss company on Saturday evening, 9th September.

The flight, operated by an Airbus A220-100 was scheduled for departure from Zurich Airport at around 5.10, but took off only at 6.42pm.

Image shows an Airbus A220-100, similar to the one that traveled from Zurich, Switzerland, to Bilbao, Spain, undated photo. It arrived at the airport in Spain without the passengers’ luggage due to a shortage of staff on Saturday, Sep. 9, 2023. (Swiss International Air Lines Ltd./Newsflash)

SWISS spokesperson Kavin Ampalam confirmed that the plane had taken off with no baggage onboard, and added: “There was a shortage of ground staff.

“One hour and 16 minutes, the situation was still unchanged, and for operational reasons, we decided to fly to Bilbao without the baggage.”

He emphasised that the reason behind the decision was the need to pick up passengers in Bilbao and get the plane back to Switzerland before the airport closed for the night.

Ampalam added: “We understand the situation is not favourable for the people involved, and of course we regret the inconvenience.”

Swiss media reported that the pilot had reportedly apologised for the delayed takeoff blaming unqualified personnel for the issue, but did not mention the decision to leave the luggage behind.

The travellers later told Swiss newspaper Blick that there were no SWISS employees in Bilbao, and that they had waited for more than two hours before officials informed them that the plane had landed with no baggage.

One passenger Carsten Redlick said: “Our holidays are trashed.”

Another unnamed one added: “I just find it arrogant to ruin people’s holidays like that knowingly. Because it has to be done knowingly.”

Ampalam added that he could not confirm that the people onboard had not been told about the decision to leave the luggage in Zurich.

Image shows the baggage collection point at the Bilbao airport, in Spain, undated photo. A Swiss Airlines plane arrived at the airport in Spain from Zurich, Switzerland, without the passengers’ luggage due to a shortage of staff on Saturday, Sep. 9, 2023. (CEN)

He said: “We are still analysing the situation to find out what happened exactly and how we can improve. This shouldn’t happen.”

On Sunday evening, the airline explained that they have sorted out a solution with the responsible luggage retailer.

They said: “The first part of the luggage will be transported to Bilbao on Sunday evening before midnight. The second part will take place 24 hours later.”

Ampalam concluded: “This situation is of course very annoying for the passengers, we understand that. We are therefore working hard to ensure that all passengers receive their luggage back as quickly as possible.”

The incident followed after a few weeks ago SWISS cabin crew were caught dancing on the wing of a Boeing 777 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as they posed for photos.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JedikovskaSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Central European News

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