A Flight Just Landed in Europe Without Any Luggage on Board

Reportedly, passengers weren't warned their checked luggage would be left behind.

There's probably no worse way to start your vacation than realizing all your stuff is kind of missing—or, at the very least, it is up there in the top five worst travel scenarios. On a recent Swiss Air flight, all its passengers had to go through this exact issue.

A plane operated by the Swiss airline and directed to Spain arrived in Bilbao on Saturday without any checked luggage on board. That's already annoying as is, but imagine being a passenger on that flight and not knowing that your luggage is stuck in another country until, say, two hours after you've landed.

That's exactly what happened. As the Swiss newspaper The Blick reports, passengers said that Swiss Air staff didn't inform them right away that their luggage was still in Zurich, and they waited for more than two hours by the baggage claim in vain. Reportedly, it was staff from Spanish airline Iberia who finally informed them about the situation.

How could this possibly happen, though? The answer, according to a spokesperson from the airline, is that there was a crew shortage, which meant that, apparently, there was nobody to transport and load the luggage onto the plane, AFP reports.

After waiting for more than an hour for the problem to be fixed, the airline decided to fly to Bilbao without the luggage due to operational reasons, as the aircraft had to make its way over to Spain and then get back by 11 pm before the Zurich airport's closing time.

Luggage gets lost in airports due to a variety of reasons, including shortages, congestions, and mishaps. While most times, it is out of a passenger's hands whether or not their luggage is going to make it to the final destination, there are a few tricks and tips one can apply to further reduce the odds of it happening.

Making sure old bag tags are removed, for example, is one of them. You can also equip your checked luggage with an AirTag, and that way, in case it gets lost, you can always know where it is located. Worst case scenario (a.k.a. your luggage gets lost and you have no idea where it is), you can always turn to Reddit—sometimes users of the social media platform can turn into real-life detectives and find your bags.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.