Source: Business Insider
A Swiss International Air Lines plane arrived at its destination without a single checked bag on board.
The plane arrived in Bilbao, Spain, on Saturday without any of the passengers' checked bags. The bags were left behind in Zurich, Kavin Ampalam, a spokesperson for Swiss, told Insider in an email. The incident was first reported by the news agency AFP.
Passengers waited in vain for more than two hours at a conveyor belt for their suitcases, the Swiss-German newspaper Blick reported.
"Due to a lack of ground staff with our responsible baggage handler, the baggage could not be loaded.," Ampalam told Insider.
Ampalam said the flight departed without its 111 passengers' suitcases as the plane had to fly another set of passengers from Bilbao to Zurich Airport before the night flight ban at 11 p.m. Swiss was operating the flight on behalf of Edelweiss Air, Ampalam said.
Ampalam said the flight crew waited for over an hour for the ground staff to load the bags onto the plane before deciding to fly to Bilbao without them.
"We deeply understand the frustration and anger of the passengers, especially because many of them were traveling on vacation," Ampalam told Insider, adding that Swiss is "currently reviewing our processes to prevent such cases from happening again."
Several passengers said the pilot in charge of the flight was apologetic over the delayed departure but never mentioned leaving their bags in Zurich, Blick reported. The passengers also told Blick it was staff from the Spanish airline Iberia who informed them that the plane arrived in Bilbao without their bags on board.
One passenger, Carsten Redlich, told Blick his vacation was "ruined."
Ampalam told Insider that all of the passengers' bags were flown to Bilbao on Monday evening.
It's not the first time a plane has departed without its passengers' bags. In July, two Scoot flights flew from Athens, Greece, to Singapore without luggage because of the summer heat wave, which could affect the performance of the aircraft's engines.