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Qantas blames fog, not cricket, for leaving bags behind

February 13, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Qantas is in hot water again over leaving baggage behind – this time it stands accused of leaving bags off a flight to make room for the luggage of the English cricket team.

Qantas denies that accusation. The flight in question was QF161 from Sydney to Wellington on Sunday. Many passengers found the luggage carousel curiously bare on arrival in Wellington – as their bags had been left behind in Australia.

Qantas caught some flak recently for something similar, when a professor accused it of leaving bags behind in Sydney on a flight to Perth. Professor fuming after Qantas leaves 100 bags behind

This time, a high-profile doctor was inconvenienced: Dr Philip Nitschke, tireless advocate of voluntary euthanasia, was on the flight to Wellington.

Nitschke wrote on Twitter: “@Qantas new low! Dumps the luggage of 150 cross-Tasman passengers in favor of baggage of (non-flying) UK cricket team. Total disregard for traveling public! Pic of UK cricket team baggage pile, as queue to lodge “missing luggage forms” grows! #NFGE Qantas”

To underscore the point Nitschke posted a copy of his baggage receipt:

As well as Nitschke, about half of the passengers on Qantas flight QF161 reportedly found themselves in the same position. Additionally, many flights into Wellington at the weekend were delayed by fog. See: Dense summer fog over city airport disrupts flights

Nitschke estimated “well over 100” Qantas passengers were left without luggage on Sunday. He feared he might be forced to attend an important euthanasia trial in the New Zealand High Court wearing shorts. He’s attending the trial to draw the world’s attention to a New Zealand legal case centring on euthanasia.

Nitschke claimed the bags were left off the flight to make room for the bags of the English cricket team – who weren’t even on the flight.

On social media he wrote: “Qantas hides behind the ‘customer safety’ excuse while not explaining why the unaccompanied bats of the UK cricket team HAD to travel – Disgustingly poor customer relations by Aust national carrier!”

He posted a video from Wellington Airport on his Facebook page, denouncing what he called “a new low for Qantas”.

Posted by Philip Nitschke on Saturday, February 10, 2018

Qantas, however, had a very different story. It said bags were left behind so the plane could carry more fuel in case the flight needed to divert because of bad weather.

Fog over Wellington Airport was disrupting flights, as mentioned in the link above.

The airline denied it had left the bags behind to make room for the cricket team’s gear. Some bags offloaded in Sydney belonged to the cricket team, it said.

In an issued statement, Qantas said: “Due to weather in Wellington, the captain made the decision to load more fuel shortly before takeoff.

“As a result of the additional weight, some of our customers’ bags were left behind in Sydney.

“We understand this is frustrating, but our main priority was getting everyone to Wellington safely and on time.”

Written by Peter Needham

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