A Swiss Airlines plane took off, heading to Bilbao, Spain, without any of its passengers’ luggage on board.
An airline spokesman said that a “shortage of ground staff” had caused bags to be abandoned in Zurich.
Passengers waited at the conveyor belt for two hours before they were told that their bags were not on the plane.
A Swiss International Airlines plane arrived at its destination without a single bag on board.
The plane arrived in Bilbao, Spain, on Saturday without any of the passengers’ checked bags. Kavin Ambalam, a spokesman for the Swiss company, said the bags were left in Zurich, Switzerland news agency AFP.
Passengers waited in vain for more than two hours in front of the conveyor belt for their bags. According to what was reported by the Swiss-German newspaper The Blick.
“There was a shortage of ground staff,” Ambalam told AFP. Ambalam said the flight departed without the bags of its 111 passengers for “operational reasons,” as the plane had to transport another group of passengers from Bilbao to Zurich Airport before it was closed. Ambalam said Swiss was operating the flight on behalf of Edelweiss Air.
Ambalam said the flight crew waited “one hour and 16 minutes” for the ground crew to load the bags onto the plane before deciding to fly to Bilbao without them.
“We realize that the situation is not suitable for the people involved, and of course we regret this inconvenience,” Ambalam told AFP.
Several passengers said the pilot in charge of the flight apologized for the delayed departure, but never mentioned leaving their bags in Zurich, Blake reports. Passengers also told Blake that it was employees from the Spanish airline Iberia who informed them that the plane had arrived in Bilbao without their bags on board.
One passenger, Carsten Redlich, told Blake his holiday was “ruined”.
Ambalam told Blake that the passengers’ bags had already been flown to Bilbao, but he did not say when the bags would arrive.
This is not the first time that a plane departs without its passengers’ luggage. In July, two Scoot flights departed from Athens to Singapore Without luggage due to the summer heat wave that may affect the performance of the plane’s engines.
Swiss did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside normal business hours.
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