Key Points:

  • A Swiss Airlines flight operating on behalf of Edelweiss Airlines landed in Bilbao with 111 passengers but without any luggage, attributing the mishap to a shortage of ground staff.

  • Passengers were left uninformed about their luggage situation and found out only after waiting for over two hours at the Bilbao airport.

  • Swiss Airlines expresses regret over the inconvenience and asserts ongoing analyses to prevent such instances in the future.

Swiss Flight Lands in Spain Without Passengers' Luggage Due to Staff Shortfall

GENEVA —A regrettable occurrence unfolded as a Swiss Airlines flight, under operation on behalf of Edelweiss Airlines, flew from Zurich to Bilbao without the passengers' luggage, an oversight attributed to the shortage of ground staff, as reported by various media on Sunday.

Passengers on the flight, which landed in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao on Saturday evening, endured a futile over-two-hour wait for their luggage to appear on the conveyor belt. According to the daily Blick, the airline cited ground staff shortages as the reason behind the failure to load any baggage onto the plane.

While passengers lingered hopelessly at the conveyor belt, it was eventually the staff from the Spanish airline Iberia who broke the news of the baggage mishap. Passenger Carsten Redlich shared his dismay with Blick, stating that the situation had "ruined" their vacation. Reports elucidated that the pilot had apologized for the delay during the take-off from Zurich, pointing to a "lack of qualified personnel." However, the decision to depart without the luggage remained undisclosed to the travelers.

Swiss Airlines spokesperson Kavin Ampalam acknowledged the incident, stating that despite the crew's efforts to rectify the matter, the situation remained unresolved for "one hour and 16 minutes." Eventually, to maintain operational commitments, which included picking up passengers in Bilbao and ensuring the plane's return to Zurich before airport closure, the flight had to proceed without the luggage.

Adding to this, Ampalam conveyed the airline's understanding of the inconvenience caused to the passengers, emphasizing the adverse circumstances presented by the ground staff shortages. However, he mentioned that the precise series of events are still under analysis to determine the exact nature of the lapse and to evolve measures for improvement. “This shouldn’t happen,” Ampalam remarked, although he couldn't confirm whether passengers were kept in the dark regarding the baggage situation in Zurich.

As Swiss Airlines moves forward with its investigation into the incident, it aspires to fortify measures to avoid such inconvenience in the future, promising a detailed exploration into the matter.