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Zero bags!

Old 12th Sep 2023, 18:15
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Originally Posted by Ohrly
Just to confirm, it is the passenger's fault for buying tickets at the prices advertised by the airline that they don't deserve to be told that their bags are not going to be arriving with them?
I'm not being difficult. The aviation industry, its rules, practices and the pricing model is fundamentally broken. Ryanair through their fierce economies of scale model are able to charge 9.99 for you to fly 500 miles. That is not sustainable, but Ryanair does that in order to stifle and kill the competition on that route and free enterprise capitalism does not forbid it even though it's completely unethical. In order to compete, others have to drop their prices. But they can't make it work at those prices so they end up with a thinner operation with less staff in the air and on the ground.
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 18:39
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I find it ironic that Ryanair gets a bashing on a thread about missing bags. I am pretty sure they are near best in class for lost/delayed bags not least because their business model discourages hold luggage. Airport handling and specifically lack of ground staff is often the culprit behind bag issues. It has been very warm the last few days which never improves morale on the ramp.
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 19:03
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In the 90s I was taking LH LIN-FRA on a 737. The Captain made an announcement asking for volunteers to load baggage. Seems the locals decided to strike. Easy to load the belly of a 737 so a few passengers and the Captain did it.


Originally Posted by MechEngr
"There was a shortage of ground staff" seems to hide some far more considerable screw-up, sufficiently embarrassing that taking the public relations hit for screwing the passengers was apparently the better choice. So, how rough was it behind the scenes? I'm betting the shortage was forgetting about this flight entirely and they sent the ground staff home early.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 07:31
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Originally Posted by Superpilot
In order of priority 1.) Safety, 2.) Comfort, 3.) Punctuality, 4.) Anything else. That 'Anything else' is a commercial decision on almost every occasion. An airline captain announcing that commercial decision to the pax will almost always result in no. 3 being compromised by angry passengers and sometimes even no. 1. As stated in the press release, if they didn't depart Bilbao in time, the return pax would have to be accommodated. The airline industry operates on razor thin margins. If the public paid a fair price, maybe more planes/pilots would be available to perform rescue flights for delays that are actually completely outside of their control?
An issue I see here is if higher fares will mean better service at times of operational disruption or higher bonus for upper management.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 09:03
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Exactly. Hence why the airline industry needs a thorough overhaul where the proceeds from the sale of a ticket are ring fenced to allow for a rainy day fund, the payment of proper salaries and sustainability/the environment. Too communist?
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 09:51
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I see all that past outsourcing as the main reason for the loss of control of processes. Nobody cares for the final product sold (fast travel with baggage), only single purpose subcontractors are working in their limited niche each. It is correct that the service attitude needs to change to be more customer focused again. I see many business travellers have switched to trains or zoom conferences because the hassles of air travel just have become too much. This "climate" must change.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 20:46
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How to put a paraglider in cabin trolly?

A lot of the comments above are along the lines of "... business as usual .... why is this even news ..... any sensible person puts important stuff in the cabin trolly ....."

As somebody who has been in the flying business for more than 40 years - and on the above mentioned flight to Bilbao - I am a truly shocked how far we've come as consumers.

Are we really ready to accept this kind of behaviour by a "premium" airline like SWISS?

We were a group of 10 paragliders - and were part of a guided Paragliding Safari through Spain - that came at a cost of close to 2000.- Euro each. Not having our gliders delivered, meant that we've wasted quite a bit of money because some smart managers in SWISS and Swissport decided to run down the manpower to an unsustainable level - all in an attempt to maximize earnings and get that big bonus for the year.

On the day of our arrival (Saturday) we were finally told by an elderly lady at "lost and found", that the earliest we could expect to see our bags was Tuesday night.

So yes, we did start a shitstorm by contacting a variety of media outlets with the story.
And guess what - it worked - after a number of Swiss media outliets reported the issue and contacted SWISS, our paragliders did show up at midnight the following day (still a pain, because we had to drive back to Bilbao in the middle of the night and back - roundtrip 5h).

My point:
Don't accept this nonsense.
You pay good money and you expect good service.
Being delivered to your destination means nothing, if you do not have essential gear with you that constitutes the only reason to take that trip.

According to the latest news reports, SWISS and Swissport have stated that they will add staff to the baggage handling crew in Zurich.
Would they have done the same if we would have just shrugged our shoulders and accepted this stupidity?

Last edited by phantomsphorever; 19th Sep 2023 at 21:27.
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Old 20th Sep 2023, 09:41
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Now that airlines are increasingly breaking up fares into individual options, what is the contractual legal position when they fail to deliver luggage which has been paid for as a distinct seperate element of the total cost?
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Old 20th Sep 2023, 11:50
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My point:
Don't accept this nonsense.
You pay good money and you expect good service.
Being delivered to your destination means nothing, if you do not have essential gear with you that constitutes the only reason to take that trip.
Agree 100%. My air travel is for work in the main, and the first leg by air is not usually the end of my journey. What's the point of baggage arriving at the destination airport a couple of days later if I'm no longer anywhere near there. My checked baggage usually holds work gear for my trip, without which I'm 'stuffed'.

Buying replacement gear at the weekend for a Monday morning start? Forget it.

It would make just as much sense to send my baggage and leave me behind.

Once a business forgets that passengers and their baggage are equally important they are on a slippery slope.

If my baggage is being left behind I no longer need/want to travel and want to de-plane to save the air fare - however inconvenient to the carrier. It's even more inconvenient for me to spend money on a work trip and not being able to work on arrival.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 08:14
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Jim

Couldn’t agree more.

I am presently in Greece to pick up a cruise having spent September travelling through Europe by rail. Mrs M spent much time planning a superb itinerary which so far has worked without a hitch. However, the first leg had to be by air from NI to London. Multiple cancellations to LGW made us change to STN.

Had we not received our bags on arrival quite what would some of the posters on here suggest we would have done? Buy essential items? They all were. Rush bags? To where, which train? Slip a day; not possible for most reservations….. Without our luggage, there would be no holiday to enjoy.

I could go on, but I am disappointed by the acceptance here of such poor service. I have been a professional pilot all my life. Yet another change I guess.

“Sorry for your inconvenience” seems to sort it all out…..

Me
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 23:02
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Not acceptable under any standard. If there are serious issues to make it impossible to deliver luggage this "could" be justified as long as the passengers are notified and given an option.
Taking off with zero luggage on board and not advising passengers is simply unprofessional and outright dishonest moreover when the reason is staff shortage due to economic choices no doubt.
SWISS is not exactly a low cost airline and prides itself for service...well I would say this one doesn't give them credit.
As a mere SLF I usually PAY for my luggage and have the right to be told of its whereabouts, we are no longer in the era when buying an air ticket gave you an automatic 23kg allowance, we now pay for the "privilege" of having our belongings with us, be it for work, holiday or whatever..and it's up to the airline to make sure that passengers get what they pay for, all rest is pure nonsense.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 00:31
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Originally Posted by Superpilot
In order of priority 1.) Safety, 2.) Comfort, 3.) Punctuality, 4.) Anything else. That 'Anything else' is a commercial decision on almost every occasion. An airline captain announcing that commercial decision to the pax will almost always result in no. 3 being compromised by angry passengers and sometimes even no. 1. As stated in the press release, if they didn't depart Bilbao in time, the return pax would have to be accommodated. The airline industry operates on razor thin margins. If the public paid a fair price, maybe more planes/pilots would be available to perform rescue flights for delays that are actually completely outside of their control?
I assume #2 is referring to yourself, not your customers?

Ever lived in Darwin and flown to Auckland?

Swapping the thongs for ugg boots, shorts for jeans and singlet for a puffer jacket - none of that is my carry on.

The worst and it happened to me, was the Captain stood in front of us and made the announcement explaining a fault with a cargo door and that was why we were late and had a strange planning and deplaning method - I think everyone appreciated that honesty.
However at around midnight after a 5 hour flight the carousel stopped & about 20 of us had no bags!!!! No announcement and no staff insight to help NOTHING!!! So I got the attention of a baggy airside and he found us a staff for missing bags - she already had all our names.

At very least between takeoff & leaving the airbridge we should have been informed of no bags - not waiting till the carousel to stop wasting an hour at that time.

You as the Captain knowing you have no bags or less bags need to make sure that at some point and by some means the punters are informed of what is happening. You as the Captain are responsible for both passengers & freight.

In my case a simple announcement some bags were left behind just prior to getting off the plane & someone will be at the baggage area to assist.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 07:24
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Originally Posted by Superpilot
The airline industry operates on razor thin margins. If the public paid a fair price, maybe more planes/pilots would be available to perform rescue flights for delays that are actually completely outside of their control?
The public do pay a fair price. They pay just what the airline asked them to pay for the service. Not less. The price paid by each passenger is wholly set by the airline. It's up to the airline to manage their finances.

And if the response is "We 'have' to price like that, otherwise Easyjet take the business", that's all telling. Isn't it ?
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 11:43
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To attract the customers, airlines are posting low ticket prices that don't, or only barely cover their costs.

Therefore, they must claw back as much money as they can by charging for everything they possibly can. So tea, coffee, sandwiches - (even alcoholic drinks used to be free - included in the ticket price) - are intensively sold on board, your suitcase in the hold, sitting together with the others in your party, a seat with (any) legroom, an airport that is in the city it pretends to be in, instead of actually being 30 miles away, paying to choose a seat, using very cheap baggage handlers, setting off at 0500 or 2300, printing out your own boarding pass using your own printer, paper and your own ink, having your knees almost touching the seat-back in front of you, paying exorbitant prices for car parking - or even dropping passengers off, using agency engineers instead of employing their own.......etc etc.

Many years ago, when the LoCos were getting started, I thought to myself that the CAA should legally mandate ticket prices being above a certain minimum, and that money ring-fenced to ensure a certain minimum level of safety, service, maintenance and standards. Beyond that, airlines would have to compete in other ways to attract passengers, e.g. by providing a better service, employing their own service staff, or providing extra frills, etc.*


*+ carrying spare seat cushions !
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 11:53
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Once landed in Narita with BA, got to the top of the airbridge and there was a notice board with an envelope attached clearly marked with my name. Inside was a note from BA apologising for our bags non-arrival, would be delivered to our hotel within 48 hours and in the meantime attached were 75 pre-loaded cash cards for each party member for purchase of any essentials. Would that happen these days?
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 23:15
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One wonders if there was an organisation Snafu between Swiss and their flight contractor Edelweiss. This flight is coded WK for Edelweiss, normally operated by one of their A320s. Although owned by Swiss, they have a separate AOC and brand image. However, just one of the flights to Bilbao a week, the one in question, is operated by Swiss themselves, with a smaller A220, although still coded for Edelweiss, in a sort of reversal of the more common approach where separate independents operate for the mainstream brand. My hunch is there are separate dispatch operations for two separate AOCs, and between them something got dropped and the baggage handling was never booked by either party. Seen this sort of thing before.

One hopes the FOCA in Switzerland will look at the flight dispatch, whether the bag load was incorrectly shown, and whether the commander was informed they had been left off, or just accepted the paperwork with bags = 0 shown.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 01:37
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A no bag story with a happy ending. Flew into the US and had to pick up a connecting flight, the recommended time for connecting with a domestic flight after an international arrival was adhered to at the booking stage, arrived at final destination and no bags, trot of to service desk and lo and behold there they were, had arrived on a previous flight, wondered about the carriage of bags when the pax are not on board.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 02:59
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Thumbs up

BA was very helpful for me as well . Flight from BKK to Delhi , with connection on Indian Airlines . A wild scrum at Indian Airlines check-in counter , and I could not get past the mob . I asked a passing BA local employee what to do ? Without hesitation , he went behind the counter , told the IA people that he would help me as I am a BA passenger , and he then came around and handed me back my ticket and a boarding pass , and told me it was the last seat . He refused to take my proferred $ 50. tip .
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 15:30
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Indian Airlines? Back in the 70s I was a travel agent. Getting any kind of confirmed booking out of Indian Airlines was impossible. Then in 1978 I went to India and, as usual, everything was still "on request" as I left the UK. Everywhere I went I did actually get on the plane, in one case I was told I was number 16 on the waitlist but I still got on (737-200). My abiding memory was Calcutta where I was sent to the reservations desk to find out if I had a seat. Like oldtora it was a scrum but I managed to get to the front. When I asked if I was on the flight the person on the counter asked me to wait, disappeared and came back with a very, very large sheet of paper (A300 sized) and started working his way through all the little boxes to see if my name appeared (it did!).

Over the years I've had all sorts of things happen but not just on airlines. Train broke down. Car stuck in a jam because of a crash ahead. Road washed out on a coach tour in Alaska so they flew us that bit. Business class seat electronics failed so it wouldn't turn into a bed. Go arounds and diversions. Landslide blocked railway near Andover leading to a diversion and enough delay that the railway refunded the whole fare. Catamaran in dry dock so put on ferry, missed train but got on the next one. In Chile and Bolivia I failed to understand their ticket sale policies and didn't get on the train at all. Oh and San Francisco to Los Angeles checked a bag, not on the carousel but United had put it on the previous flight. I've learned to "go with the flow".
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 10:11
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Imagine going on a trip where you can send your luggage ahead of you so you don't have to struggle with multiple bags getting to & from the airport.

Well in Japan they have takkyubin, a service where you can do just that. You send your luggage ahead of you so that you only need minimal hand luggage. Travel becomes simpler and less stressed if you are not burdened with bags, It works well because its reliable, secure and reasonably priced. Arriving at a hotel and finding your luggage already in your room is joyous.

I would happily use such a service if available elsewhere.
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