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Travel Chaos: Delta Flies From London To Detroit With 1,000 Luggage Bags And No Passengers Onboard
Amid the travel ongoing chaos happening in European airports this summer, a Delta Air Lines plane carrying only lost luggage was flown from London to Detroit on July 11.
The company used its Airbus A330-200, which has a capacity of 380 seats. However, the 1,000 bags traveled ‘alone’ in the plane’s cargo area. Not a single passenger was on the flight when it arrived at the Detroit airport, according to The New York Times. The luggage belonged to Delta customers who were separated from their bags because of travel disruptions.
The CEO of the American airline, Ed Bastian, confirmed the story during a conference call about the company’s quarterly results.
The flight was canceled given airport passenger volume restrictions at Heathrow and the company said it decided to work on a “creative” solution so the plane wouldn’t return empty from the UK.
According to the airline, the aircraft would have had to fly back to Detroit anyway, so the bags were added on to what would’ve been a “repositioning” flight.
“We had a separate charter just to repatriate back customer bags that were held up due to some of the operational issues European airports were experiencing,” Bastian said on Wednesday. “We did this on our own just to get our Delta customers their bags back as quickly as possible.”
The company also stated that customers on the canceled flight were re-accommodated on other flights.
Airlines have been working through cancellations, delays, and lost luggage issues for several weeks amid the busy summer holiday seasons, causing travel chaos in US and European airports this summer. In Europe, airlines are struggling to meet travel demands, with one of the reasons being staff shortages.
Recently, pilots with Delta Air Lines wrote an open letter emphasizing that this current problem is a warning signal to passengers, saying they were “flying a record amount of overtime” amid the airline industry’s struggle with delays, staff shortages, and cancellations.
Related: European And U.K. Airports Are ‘Pure Chaos’ Due To Massive Staff Shortages