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‘Operational Disaster’ At OR Tambo Leads To Passengers Arriving At Local Destinations Without Luggage

Post Last Updates by Ankit: Wednesday, December 27, 2023 @ 12:21 PM

‘Operational Disaster’ At OR Tambo Leads To Passengers Arriving At Local Destinations Without Luggage

'Operational Disaster' At OR Tambo Leads To Passengers Arriving At Local Destinations Without Luggage

 News: The current situation at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg presents a considerable inconvenience for travelers due to a malfunction in its luggage sorting system. This operational setback has resulted in numerous passengers arriving at their destinations without their luggage, causing frustration and inconvenience for both airlines and travelers.

FlySafair, one of the affected airlines, described the situation as a nightmare. Kirby Gordon, the airline’s chief marketing officer, disclosed that they had to delay flights in an effort to load as many bags as possible. Despite their efforts, approximately 3,000 passengers were left without their luggage. FlySafair collaborated with airport officials to locate the missing bags and prevent any potential theft.

Acknowledging the technical challenges with the baggage sorting system in the domestic terminal as the root cause, the Airports Company SA (Acsa), responsible for managing OR Tambo Airport, took responsibility. Acsa promptly arranged with airlines for the swift delivery of the bags to their owners. The issue has been rectified, and the luggage sorting system is now operational.

The impact of this malfunction reverberated widely. Passengers faced delays, missed connections, and heightened stress during an already bustling travel period. For instance, Lerato Seheri’s family, en route to a cruise from OR Tambo to Durban, encountered a delay in the ship’s departure to accommodate 50 passengers without their bags. Despite the delay, over 40 passengers, including the Seheri family, sailed without their luggage.

Businesses also felt the effects significantly. MSC Cruises incurred extra costs of R500,000 in port fees due to the delayed departure caused by the luggage issue. LIFT Airline and ground-handling agencies experienced disruptions, with increased operational costs and customer stress. Airlines faced high courier fees to reunite passengers with their belongings.

In summary, the luggage sorting malfunction at OR Tambo Airport disrupted passengers, airlines, and businesses alike. While the issue has been resolved, it underscores the importance of maintaining and updating critical systems to ensure seamless operations and customer satisfaction.


Q: What led to the luggage sorting malfunction at OR Tambo Airport?

A: The malfunction resulted from technical challenges within the baggage sorting system at the airport’s domestic terminal.

Q: How many passengers experienced the impact?

A: Approximately 3,000 passengers were affected, finding themselves without their luggage due to the malfunction.

Q: Is the problem resolved now?

A: Yes, the issue has been rectified, and the luggage sorting system is currently operating without any problems.

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