Saturday 2 January, 13:05 CET: “This is your captain speaking. We are ready to start but we’ll have to wait another 5 to 10 minutes because a bag was apparently loaded to much. Security regulations say we have to get it off the plane.” Fair enough, the passengers were silently agreeing.
20 minutes later, the voice from the cockpit brought some update, which really wasn’t one: “Bag not found yet..”
A few passengers, including me, were already getting annoyed, some a bit angry. Lots of people had connecting flights in Munich (Germany), and staying longer on the ground in Kraków (Poland) was just not helping the flight schedule.
“People, the bag has.. not been found.” Silence in the plane as few had already wondered why the bags were getting lined up on the airport’s Tarmac.. in the snow.. getting wet. The captain spoke again: “We ask you kindly to get off the plane using the front exit, walk past the luggage and identify yours. Please re-enter through the rear entrance.”
Laughter, a few people clapping hands but failing to get more folks doing the same. Most passengers were tired waiting and wanted to get it over with. This identification was probably going to be our fasted way up.
Few of us having only carry-on luggage didn’t care, and we were watching from the plane what was happening outside. It was like a carousel, only the music and the chairs were missing as I picture me stopping the music.
After about 2 hours, the bag was eventually found, the voice out of the cockpit explained. “Now we can continue our flight.. but we’ll need another 5 to 10 minutes to de-ice the airplane.” Sighs and moaning rushed through the belly of the machine, but people already accepted their faiths.
We arrived like 2 hours late in Munich. Lufthansa had their service center well staffed and were helping people as fast as they could. It’s not easy to rebook as passengers also need to think about the consequences when getting a day later at their destination.
I had luck: there was another flight at 19:05 to Brussels. However, the queue was really slowly dissolving and time was critically getting toowards my hopefully new departure. But after a jolly hour and a half waiting, my ticket got rebooked in 10 seconds and I was on my way!
During the waiting in line at the service center I learned from other passengers that it wasn’t apparently one bag, but a whole bunch of them! They saw a chariot full of bags driving away from the plane. There might be lots of people missing their toothbrush next day..
Lufthansa is a great company. They have a very, good service, both on the ground and in the air. Planes are nice and mostly on time. I admire companies that have to endure human behavior, make it somehow work out and get people there. Kudos to the folks at the service center keeping their cool.
This incident wasn’t Lufthansa’s fault, I think. It might have been some mistake from the Krakaw airport luggage services. Shit happens..