What an odyssey: the Swiss plane first flies loops, then lands in Warsaw. There will be no further flight to Vilnius.
Because of “O you happy”, Willy Z.* (65) probably said to himself when he was stranded in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday! Together with his wife, the Lucerne native wanted to fly to his in-laws in Lithuania – a birthday present.
Because of ground fog at the destination airport in Vilnius, the Swiss machine had to stop over. “Not funny at all,” says Willy Z. to Blick, who had to wait with the Christmas presents, wife and suitcases and numerous passengers for the onward flight in Warsaw. It was all the more annoying for him, as a look at his cell phone shows, that “other planes arrived in Vilnius that day as scheduled”.
For Z., however, the travel nightmare really started there. The passengers were not allowed to leave the plane. Nothing happened for two hours. “There wasn’t even anything to eat in Warsaw!” complains Z. Because of the lack of staff, a flight attendant tells him. Then the machine is refueled.
Instead of going to Vilnius back to Zurich
The pilot reports a little later that he can start now. But it does not go to Lithuania, but back to the place of departure in Zurich! Willy Z. and his wife are only able to leave the plane again around 6 p.m. They spent almost eight hours in the plane. For a Vilnius flight that would have taken only 3.5 hours.
Because the next plane can only take off on Friday, the couple has to stay overnight at Zurich Airport. It’s another hour and a half before Z. and his wife can check in at the Circle’s Hyatt Place hotel. After all, there are vouchers for dinner, but they are only valid at the buffet. There was only a measly CHF 20 per person, says Z.
Bad luck for the people of Lucerne: it only had spaghetti with tomato sauce. Nothing was refilled, says Z. So the two of them go to the waiter service – at their own expense. “After all, the food was good,” says the Lucerne native.
Swiss Blick explains that the weather in Vilnius was too bad to land the Airbus 321. “If possible, the plane will turn around and fly back to the departure airport,” says a Swiss spokesman. Since Vilnius cannot be reached overland from Warsaw, the passengers were shipped back to Zurich.
Happy ending 30 hours late
According to Swiss, it was also easier to accommodate and feed the 188 passengers at Zurich Airport. And she adds: The fact that the plane did not stay in Warsaw has operational reasons and is not due to a lack of personnel.
Yesterday, Friday, Willy Z. and his wife dared to do it again. In the morning the flight is already 45 minutes late. At the gate, the couple continues to be put off. The weather in Vilnius is very bad.
The flight is postponed again. After waiting again, Willy Z. and his wife finally boarded the Swiss plane at 1:40 p.m. Another half hour passes and then they are in the air. Willy Z. and his wife can now enjoy Christmas with the family after all. “30 hours late.”
* Name known to editors