Amid operational chaos at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom, Delta Airlines recently came up with a “creative” solution to reunite passengers with their stranded baggage. The airline deployed a wide-body aircraft last week only to bring 1,000 pieces of luggage back to the United States.
According to CNN, a staffing shortage at Heathrow Airport in London has caused a service meltdown in recent weeks. Airport officials responded to the cancelled flights and massive lost baggage complaints by telling airlines that they must limit the number of passengers at the airport to 100,000 a day.
So, Delta Airlines figured out a way to get the lost bags out of the airport, even though it couldn’t take more passengers. The airline used an empty Airbus A330-200 to retrieve the lost bags.
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“Delta teams worked a creative solution to move delayed checked bags from London-Heathrow on July 11 after a regularly scheduled flight had to be cancelled given airport passenger volume restrictions at Heathrow,” the airlines said in a statement as per CNN.
“Delta flight 9888 from Heathrow to Delta’s Detroit hub flew 1,000 bags back to the United States, where teams then forwarded the bags on to our customers,” it added.
Delta’s A330-200 aircraft can accommodate up to 406 passengers, and it typically carries 210 and 250 passengers. The airline noted that even though it was a passenger-free flight, the bags flew where they usually do – in the aircraft’s designated baggage bins, not the passenger cabins.
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Meanwhile, Heathrow airport has struggled to keep up with bags over the past few weeks because of understaffing and a surge in travel. The crisis has led baggage to pile up after some passengers were forced to leave the terminals without their luggage.
Last month, a video showing hundreds of suitcases lying on the floor at Heathrow Airport also surfaced online. Frustrated passengers posted photos and videos of the chaotic sea of baggage on social media. Some users even claimed that there was a two-hour delay in reclaiming their baggage.