Delta Air Lines of the United States sent an empty plane so that it could retrieve luggage left by the airline’s passengers at London’s Heathrow airport, which has suffered from a shortage of employees since last month.
According to the New York Times, the airline Delta decided to send an Airbus A330-200 on Monday (11) to deliver the thousand bags in Detroit and, from there, forward them to customers. The information was released on Wednesday (13).
“We recently had a separate charter just to repatriate bags back to customers who were stranded because of some operational issues,” CEO Ed Bastian said on a conference call to discuss quarterly financial results, according to Bloomberg news agency.
At the end of June, airport management even asked some to reduce their flight schedules, mainly due to problems in delivering luggage to travelers.
The crisis caused bags to pile up after some passengers were forced to leave the terminals.
Delta Air Lines plane — Photo: Reuters
London’s Heathrow airport canceled 61 flights last Monday (11) and warned that further cancellations could occur during the summer. There is a shortage of employees and demand has increased due to the cooling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cancellations affected British Airways, Virgin and Air France flights. In total, 1,100 flights were scheduled to take off and land at the London airport.
Bags piled up at Heathrow Airport, England, on June 19, 2022 — Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters
British airlines and airports, which laid off thousands of employees at the height of the pandemic, are now struggling to hire staff.
Airlines like British Airways, Wizz Air and Easyjet have recently canceled thousands of flights.
“We will review airline schedule changes and ask them to take further action if necessary,” Heathrow Executive Director John Holland-Kaye said in a statement on Monday.
In four months, the number of passengers rose in proportion equivalent to a 40-year increase.
“Lately, we’ve seen demand outstrip the capacity of the airport, airlines and ground handling services,” Holland-Kaye said.
The electronic arrivals dashboard displays canceled flights on Southwest Airlines from Nashville and Portland to travelers at Denver International Airport, United States. — Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Airports across Europe and the United States have recorded delays, cancellations and various inconveniences for passengers, who wait days to be able to board.
The situation, which began with strikes among airline workers in late July, coincides with the region’s summer vacation, a high season for travel.
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In Portugal, last Saturday (2), Brazilian comedian Abdías Melo went viral when he mocked the long wait for his flight, saying he hadn’t changed his underwear for 6 days.
“I didn’t take a shower, I stink. It’s absurd. My armpit is stinking. And they don’t do anything. They just say: ‘let’s solve it’. Then, they book a flight, give the boarding pass, cancel. poop at home. I’m stuck, not pooping”, he said.