Caos aéreo: una aerolínea alquiló un avión de Londres a EEUU sólo para devolver 1.000 valijas perdidas de sus pasajeros

Hundreds of suitcases and bags stranded at London airport. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo)

In recent months, the world’s airlines have been overwhelmed by the high demand for travel that, after two years of irregular activity due to the pandemic, continues to grow and cause severe delays in international air traffic. Tied to this, companies carry a second problem regarding the proper tracking and delivery of traveler’s luggagewith suitcases stranded or arriving late.

In this context, one of the largest airlines in the United States made an unusual decision to get the stranded luggage to its owners. Days ago, rented an Airbus A330 plane that traveled from London to Detroit solely to deliver 1,000 bags that had been delayed in the “old continent”, according to the portal Business Insider.

“The teams worked in a creative solution to move delayed checked baggage from London-Heathrow on July 11 after a scheduled flight had to be canceled due to Heathrow airport passenger volume restrictions,” a company spokesman said.

When they arrived in the United States, the bags were forwarded to their customerswho arrived in the country in a special plane that traveled with delayed luggage.

Thousands of delays, delays and cancellations are being experienced at airports in Europe and the world due to the high demand for travel.  (REUTERS/Phil Noble)
Thousands of delays, delays and cancellations are being experienced at airports in Europe and the world due to the high demand for travel. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

In the United States, airlines lost, damaged or delayed nearly 220,000 bags in Aprilwhich represents an increase of 135 percent compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from the Air Travel Consumer Report of the US Department of Transportation. The company that rented the plane was Delta, which in recent months lost about 45,000 bags.

Both airports and European airlines also had severe problems managing travelers’ bags. In fact, there was the case of an Irish traveler who, upon returning from a trip to Australia, was unable to collect his luggage at Dublin airport.

The chaos was such that when he went to the airport in the capital of his country, he did not get answers and could not access the stranded luggage area since he did not have an airline ticket that would allow him to access that room. So, he decided to buy the cheapest air ticket he could find, and the next day he went to Dublin airport as a passenger, and there he was able to retrieve his bags.

To address the ongoing baggage crisis, Iceland’s flag carrier, Icelandair, is piloting a unique new baggage handling system to facilitate baggage transfers. Specifically, the company is bringing ground handling personnel to Amsterdam to help load and unload luggage in the Dutch city, one of the cities that is suffering the most from intense travel demand, and the consequent collapse.

Other airports that were experiencing major complications with baggage delivery are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, in addition to those already mentioned, Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport and London-Heathrow Airport.

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