An airline in Japan thought it wise to ask for forgiveness rather than permission when it sent over 5,000 passengers to their destinations without their luggage.
On August 11, travelers on ANA flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to destinations all over Japan diligently waited at the baggage carousel for their belongings that never appeared.
According to Rocketnews24
, people who arrived in Oita airport were met with a handwritten apology displayed on a whiteboard. The message read:
“Instructions to arriving customers
We are very sorry for the inconvenience today. Your baggage could not be loaded onto this flight because of a failure in the conveyor belt at Haneda Airport. As soon as your baggage arrives at Oita Airport we plan to send it to you by courier. However, although we plan to send your baggage today, there is a lot of congestion at Haneda Airport. There is a possibility that we cannot deliver your luggage today.
Thank you for your understanding.
*We are offering papers for you to fill in your address. Please pass the paper with your address on it to the attendant.”
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BuzzFeed Japan reported that the ANA conveyor belt malfunctioned at around 6:25 A.M. that day. It was eventually fixed, but the company had already made the decision to send the passengers off without their baggages.
Had they decided against it, there would have been massive delays with the 19 flights that were scheduled for departure that morning. It was a tight spot to be in and one could argue that the company did what they did for practical reasons. Unfortunately, ANA chose not to inform nearly 5,500 passengers that would be affected by it.
Travelers weren’t too pleased which was how ANA handled the situtation. One person tweeted:
“ANA is crazy. They don’t load the baggage and take just the passengers to Hokkaido. At the time we were supposed to take off, they announced there would be a short delay because ‘they were loading the bags.’ Stupid. Now I have to write my address on a piece of paper, so they’ll send it to me. What the hell!”
Another airline assenger who arrived in Okayama without his baggages told Buzzfeed Japan that he was met with the same whiteboard announcement in Hokkaido. The man had another issue since he didn’t have an address to write down for the company to send him his belongings. The ANA staff apologized and allegedly handed him an envelope with $49 or 5,000 yen inside.
Apparently, not all passengers were compensated for their troubles the same way. One user tweeted:
“After writing down my address on a slip of paper and stepping outside, I overheard a couple complaining about the ‘measly 5,000 yen’ they got as an apology. Eh? I can get money? Apparently if you get all angry and get up in the staff’s face, they’ll slip you an envelope with 5,000 yen inside. Lol It’s kind of sneaky of them not to tell everyone.”
No traveler likes to arrive at a destination empty handed. Hiroyuki Ito, the guitarist for the band The Challenge, was among the passengers on these flights who packed some important items for this particular trip. He was reportedly scheduled to perform at the rising Sun Rock Festival the following day.
“I arrived at Shin-Chitose Airport a little while ago, but it seems they didn’t load our luggage onto the plane. I don’t have my bags or instruments. Other bands performing, please, could you lend me a guitar and bass? Especially if you’re on the same stage like Art-School or Bradio? ANA you suck! Our Hokkaido!”