A Swiss flight from Zurich to Bilbao arrived at its destination in Spain on Saturday without a single bag in the hold, surprising passengers, a Swiss company reported on Sunday that blamed a shortage of ground crews for the inconvenience.
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Passengers on a Swiss flight to the city in northern Spain waited for more than two hours on Saturday evening in front of a conveyor belt for their luggage to arrive, the daily Blick reported.
Swiss spokesman Kavin Ampalam confirmed that the flight, operated on behalf of airline Edelweiss, had taken off with 111 passengers but no luggage.
“There is a shortage of ground staff,” he told AFP, adding that staff were initially waiting to sort out the situation.
But after more than an hour had passed “the situation was still unchanged and for operational reasons, we decided to take the flight to Bilbao without luggage.”
The reason, he explained, was the need to pick up other passengers in Bilbao and return the flight to Zurich before the airport closed for the night.
“We regret the inconvenience caused,” he said.
The pilot apologized for the takeoff delay in Zurich, blaming a “lack of qualified crew,” but Blick cited passengers without mentioning the decision to leave their luggage behind.
Passengers claimed that there was no Swiss crew on the ground in Bilbao and they waited more than two hours to claim their luggage before being informed that Spanish airline Iberia staff had landed without luggage on board.
“Our vacation is ruined,” passenger Carsten Redlich told Blick.
A Swiss spokesman said passengers were not informed of the decision to leave their luggage in Zurich.
“We are still analyzing the situation to find out what exactly happened. This should not happen” he said.