Ben Gurion Baggage Relay Problem Wreaks Flight Delay Havoc

YERUSHALAYIM -
The departure screen in the Departure Terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

Dozens of flights in and out of the country at Ben Gurion airport were delayed Monday morning, just as the bein hazmanim vacation season was getting into full gear.

The cause of the delays was a malfunction in the automated baggage transport system, which directs bags to the appropriate planes or collection points. With the malfunction, check-in staff are accepting luggage, which is being transported manually to planes, where they are being loaded on by staff.

The problem is affecting only flights leaving from Terminal 3. The baggage system in Terminal 1, from where most low-cost airlines to and from Europe fly, is working properly.

Technical staff worked throughout Monday morning to resolve the issues, but after three hours of delays, it was still not working properly. In order not to get mired down in further delays, a number of flights were sent off without luggage – with passengers told that their bags would arrive within a day or two.

Speaking to Reshet Bet, Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich said that “there have been such delays in the past and we have overcome them. Technical staff are working on the problem as quickly as they can, but I can’t say when the problem will be resolved.”