Pilot does U-turn to pick up passengers’ forgotten luggage from airport

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It looks like at least one pilot will be making it onto Santa’s good list this year, after they made the decision to do a U-turn 10 minutes into a flight to pick up two bags accidentally left at the airport.

Sounds Air flight 906 was a few minutes into a flight from Westport in New Zealand’s South Island, bound for Wellington, on 22 December when the pilot received the message that two pieces of luggage had been forgotten.

It was just before 5pm when airport staff contacted the flight crew, with no further flights scheduled for the rest of the day.

“So the passenger would have been without their bags until the following morning,” Sounds Air operations manager Jesse Woods told Stuff.

“Coming up to Christmas, people need to be with their belongings, so the pilot made the decision to turn back and uplift those bags.”

Although he admitted it was “not ideal” to have to turn the plane around, Woods said that most other passengers were understanding about the decision.

“It’s not ideal, it is an inconvenience. You may get frustrated passengers, but most understand it can happen to anyone. It’s the same when a flight waits for late passengers – people know it might be them holding up the next flight.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, sometimes things go awry. Sometimes it’s putting the bag on the next flight, but when we have made a mistake we will do everything in our control to rectify it.”

It follows one baggage handler demonstrating how bags are fitted into the hold of an aircraft.

TikTok user Deeej, who posts as @DJSugue, shared a strangely satisfying time-lapse video of him stacking bags inside an aircraft, which quickly went viral.

“How 100 bags looks like inside the belly of a plane [sic],” he captioned the video, which shows cases whizzing up on a conveyor belt before he packs them tightly to fit the shape of the hold compartment.

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