United fined NT$80,000 for flying luggage without passenger on board

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has fined U.S. carrier United Airlines NT$80,000 (US$2,659) for transporting a passenger’s luggage on a Taiwan to San Francisco flight that the individual had failed to board.

According to a CAA report published earlier this month, United flight UA-872 took off 10 minutes early after mistakenly thinking that all passengers had been boarded, resulting in the individual, whose luggage had already been checked, missing the flight.

The CAA imposed the NT$80,000 fine on the carrier for violating the rules that state passengers and their checked baggage must be transported on the same flight.

United Airlines’ Taiwan branch office admitted on Monday staff negligence and a failure to follow standard operating procedures had led to them not checking if the passenger — who staff should have been paying particular attention to as they were traveling with a cat — had actually boarded the flight.

However, it was too late to remove the passenger’s luggage from the flight after staff realized their mistake, according to the office.

United Airlines said they immediately apologized to the passenger and arranged a seat on a flight for the next day as well as a first-class upgrade.

The branch office said it also notified the airline company’s office at San Francisco International Airport to temporarily hold the passenger’s luggage. (Story courtesy of Focus Taiwan)

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