A plane from Zurich arrived in Spain this weekend without a single piece of luggage. The passengers were not aware of it, media reported on Sunday. The airline blames staff shortages.
Passengers on the Swiss Airlines flight waited in vain for two hours at the conveyor belt at the airport in Bilbao on Saturday evening, reported Blick Daily.
Kavin Ampalam, spokesperson for Swiss Airlines, confirmed that the plane, which is operated on behalf of Edelweiss Airlines, departed with 111 passengers without any luggage on board.
“There was a shortage of ground staff,” he told AFP, adding that the crew was waiting for the situation to be rectified. “After an hour and 16 minutes the situation was still unchanged and for operational reasons we decided to fly to Bilbao without the luggage.”
He explains that the plane had to leave because passengers had to be picked up in Bilbao and the plane had to return to Zurich before the airport would close for the evening.
“We understand the situation is not favorable for the people involved and we are sorry for the inconvenience.”
Look meanwhile quoted passengers as saying the pilot apologized in Zurich for the delay in departure, blaming “a lack of qualified staff”, but made no mention of the decision to leave the luggage behind.
Passengers told the newspaper that no Swiss Airlines staff were in Bilbao and they then waited for their luggage for two hours before staff from the Spanish airline Iberia informed them that the plane had landed without luggage.
“Our holiday is ruined,” passenger Carsten Redlich said Look said.
Ampalam said he could not confirm whether or not passengers were notified of the decision to leave the luggage behind in Zurich.
“We are still reviewing the situation to determine exactly what happened and how we can improve. This should not happen.”