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Air Berlin loses bags of entire planeload, 200 passengers

September 11, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59An extraordinary tale is circulating about Air Berlin. It appears that not one passenger, but an entire planeload of 200 of the airline’s passengers, arrived at their destination to find that not one of their bags had made it onto the flight.

That was in August and at last report the bags, or most of them, are still missing.

Slate.com recounts that when Air Berlin flight 8109 departed Stockholm for Berlin, it left every checked-in bag at the Stockholm airport. They then seem to have vanished. 250x250TICBanner

A month later, the airline still has no clue where the bags are, the Slate.com site (which has links with the Washington Post) reports.

Frustrated passengers have turned to social media, as they would. A Facebook group called “Airberlin 8109 Stockholm to Berlin – Where are our bags?!?!? has been started.

The name says it all, but for the record, the group describes itself thus: “A group for those who flew on AB 8109 from Stockholm to TXL on 9 August 2013. NONE of the checked luggage was loaded on the airplane – almost 200 missing pieces missing among the passengers. Little to no information has been provided. We filled out forms and were given baggage service numbers to call, but the phone line has no answer all day. Days later, still no information whatsoever, nobody to call, no information, not sure what to do. Baggage company says to contact airline; airline says to contact baggage company. Vacations & weddings ruined. We still can’t comprehend why the captain decided to take off before any pieces of luggage were loaded. We need support from Air Berlin—please get to the bottom of this. This isn’t one lost bag, it’s a whole plane of lost bags!”

Air Berlin responded to complaints on its Twitter account @airberlin, with advice like: “We’re really sorry and understand your annoyance. Please send your receipts…”

Some passengers have since reported on the Facebook group that their luggage has been returned via airlines like Lufthansa and British Airways – but they have been forced to pay further delivery charges. One passenger says that although a bag was returned “it’s damaged, and things are missing.”

Slate described it as a “social media meltdown”.

Air Berlin finally provided some sort of explanation, according to the Facebook site, as follows:

“The majority of guests on the flight were transfer passengers with a connecting flight via Berlin-Tegel, airberlin’s hub. To ensure that these guests would still reach their final destination via Berlin on the same evening, the pilot decided to take off as quickly as possible in Stockholm and was therefore not able to wait for the baggage to be loaded.”

But where are the bags?

Written by : Peter Needham

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