Flight has to return to airport because ground crew forgot to unload luggage

Photo: Dirk Kruse/Flickr

When you’re traveling, it can be so easy to forget something. You could forget to pack your toothbrush, accidentally leave your suit jacket hanging in your car or, you know, take off from an Irish airport without unloading the luggage from the previous flight. Just 20 minutes after a Ryanair flight took off from the City of Derry Airport, the captain announced that the plane had to turn around “because of a problem with the luggage.” The problem was that all of the suitcases from the inbound flight from Alicante, Spain were still on that particular plane.

So before the passengers even had time to start daydreaming about the first thing they’d do after landing in Spain, they were back on the ground in Northern Ireland. Noel Kelly, who was on the flight, told the Belfast Telegraph:

We had just settled into the flight and I had just told my grandson that it would be a month before he saw rain again when the pilot said we had to turn back because there was a problem with the luggage. That was a first for me and the air stewardess told me she had been flying for 12 years and she had never experienced it before.

An airport spokesperson said that management would be reviewing the incident. The unexpected (and sort of ridiculous) situation was blamed on the airport ground crew, who were somehow distracted or disorganized enough to forget to unload the luggage. The flight took off for a second time after an hour-long delay.

In a statement to Road Warrior Voices, Ryanair spokesperson Robin Kiely said

This flight from Derry to Alicante (27 July) returned to Derry shortly after take-off to unload baggage from the previous flight, which the third party ground handling agent had failed to remove before take-off. The aircraft landed normally, the baggage was removed and the flight departed to Alicante. Ryanair apologised to customers affected by this short delay.

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