Passengers aboard a Swiss Air flight were left in dismay when their plane landed in Bilbao without a single piece of their checked luggage due to a shortage of staff.
According to Business Insider, the passengers were initially left in the dark about the missing luggage, after waiting for more than 2 hours for their bags to emerge on the airport’s conveyor belt. Although the pilot did apologize for the delay, no further explanation or indication was offered. To make matters worse, Swiss Air staff failed to provide any information regarding the whereabouts of their baggage, as passengers were humorously informed that their bags hadn’t been loaded onto the aircraft… through the staff of Spanish flag-carrier Iberia!
Swiss Air has since confirmed that the flight from Zurich indeed departed without any of the passengers’ checked luggage, with Kavin Ampalam – a spokesperson for the airline – disclosing to French news agency AFP that a crew shortage had precipitated this unfortunate incident.
Ampalam further explained that passengers were made to wait in Zurich in the hope that the situation would be resolved, but, after about 90 minutes without any advances, the company decided to go ahead with the Bilbao flight for operational reasons. According to his statement, the airline’s decision to proceed with the flight was backed by the fact that another group of passengers was set to fly out from Bilbao to Zurich the same night, and the aircraft had to make it back to Switzerland before the airport’s night flying restrictions kicked-off at 23h00.
While Swiss Air couldn’t definitively confirm whether passengers had been informed of the decision to leave their luggage behind, the airline expressed its regret for the inconvenience caused to customers, vowing to find out exactly what happened and to take measures to prevent such mishaps in the future.