A Captain for Eurowings decided to leave a bus filled with 60 passengers behind on the tarmac at Duesseldorf Airport after the delayed boarding was close to reach the night departure cut off.
After a glance at his watch the pilots decided to take off without the second bus load of passengers but with all their baggage to Dresden.
Some things sound too crazy to be believed but considering this is coming from Eurowings I guess nobody should be surprised about such incidents.
German Newspaper RP Online (see here) wrote about it yesterday.
The flight was already delayed by more than 2 hours with an original departure time of 7:05pm and nearing the 10pm restriction after which aircraft aren’t allowed to take off anymore. In the meanwhile passengers got into a brawl with at each other at the departure gate to the point of which the Federal Police responded to a call from an airline employee.
40 Passengers were already on board arriving on the first of two buses but the second bus with 60 passengers were left behind. Their baggage was flown to Dresden though.
Eurowings came up with excuses saying that many airlines incurred delays due to bad weather and an air traffic controller strike in Venice/Italy, both of which is utter nonsense for obvious reasons. They also said the pilot got clearance from the airline prior to leaving the passengers behind without further information.
The passengers were then brought back to the terminal where some were accommodated at a hotel and others transported by bus to Dresden Airport in the same night. The distance by road is 610km which by Bus equals about 6 hours driving time in ok traffic.
Flights get cancelled all the time yes, but that the airline decides to actually leave a full bus of passengers sitting in front of the plane behind and takes off is unheard of.
Eurowings owes 250 EUR Compensation per EC261 Regulation for more than 2 hours delay to each of the passengers booked on this flight including the 40 passengers who actually made the flight. The excuses the airline made for the delay (ATC strike in Italy and bad weather) is not applicable to this domestic flight from Duesseldorf to Dresden and nonsense to begin with.
Passengers should claim their compensation with Eurowings and if they deny the compensation consult the German Ombudsman for Public Transportation Söp – Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr (access their website here).