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Missing Passenger, Unclaimed Bag Cause Panic on Spain-Bound Flight

His bag may have made it, but a checked-in passenger failed to show up for a Bilbao-bound flight from Paris. Panic ensued as passengers assumed the worst.

On Tuesday, a missing passenger and an unclaimed bag caused mayhem onboard a Spain-bound flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). It seems that panic broke out among travelers when the crew could not find a passenger who was described as being of Arab origin.

Despite the passenger’s no-show, his bag still somehow ended up on the plane. He had checked-in and was initially believed to have been traveling with another passenger, a woman who was also reportedly of Arabic origin.

Passengers were held onboard for over three hours as police searched the cabin and interviewed the woman. Despite speaking very little Spanish or French, she intimated that she did not know the missing male passenger and that the unclaimed suitcase was not hers.

The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m. local time, just before the flight, operated by HOP!, an Air France subsidiary, was due to depart the French capital for the northern Spanish city of Bilbao.

While Air France did not confirm what authorities called a “security breach”, Spanish daily El Correo reported that many of the approximately 100 passengers on the plane rang their families to “say goodbye” as the incident unfolded.

As quoted in the Mirror, one traveler spoke to El Correo, saying, “It was awful. It’s true that people were calling home saying they were experiencing something very dramatic and they didn’t know what was going to happen.”

The HOP! flight was eventually aborted and travelers were billeted overnight in local hotels, eventually taking off on Wednesday morning for Bilbao.

French security authorities are believed to have interviewed a suspect, but this has not been officially confirmed.

[Photo: HOP!]

Comments are Closed.
djjaguar64 April 17, 2016

The airline should have performed a check on who checked in against the luggage list. Its the airlines fault.

cestmoi123 April 16, 2016

@AlwaysFlyStar Yes, but I bet you aren't one of them brown folks.

AlwaysFlyStar April 15, 2016

A suspect? Suspect of what? The only guilty party here is anybody who contributed to the initial panic. It does occasionally happen that a passenger with a checked bag misses their flight. And from experience, I can say that whenever it has happened to me, the bag has flown without me. And you know, I don't think the media has referred to any of those flights as, 'terrorist scares'. Sheesh.