The case took place at London Gatwick Airport, on a plane to Florence, Italy, operated by an Airbus A319 from the low-cost Spanish company Vueling.
The lack of personnel to assist passengers has caused long lines at the x-ray and also at check-in. Flight VY-6209 ended up departing around two hours later than scheduled, but without any passengers.
Passenger Nisha Gupta told the Evening Stantard newspaper that it took her 4 hours to check in her luggage, but when she finally arrived at the boarding gate, the flight had already departed.
As the flight would land in Italy at 8:20 pm if it had left on time, a delay of more than 3 hours would make the plane land at the end of the day, when the airport closes for flights.
Because of this, the pilots, in coordination with the company, took off without passengers on the 144-seat plane, in order not to cancel the flight and also allow the return flight the next day.
Nisha said the check-in delay happened because there were only three employees serving all the company’s flights that day.
“The impact on the environment of this is insane and the decision was made clearly to prioritize the financial above the customer experience and environmental impact,” said the passenger, who said she did not receive a food voucher for the delays.