Text size

How embarrassing for El Al: its flight from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles arrived as scheduled yesterday evening, at about 08:00 local time. However, the luggage of 150 passengers didn't. Among the travelers to lose his bags on Flight 005 were the aides of Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson and delegates from Israel, who were flying to the opening ceremony of a major Jewish affairs conference.

Ergo, the officials had no change of clothing or toiletries ahead of the conference for which, ironically, El Al is one of the sponsors.

The angry passengers were told that the luggage never made it onto the plane because of weight issues on long-distance flights. El Al promised to bring their bags to their hotels within 18 hours.

"Because of strong winds on the route to Los Angeles, the flight time on the direct line became very extended, passing the permissible time for such a flight under law. To meet the restrictions of the law, El Al had to fly the plane faster, which required it to reduce baggage and add fuel. Therefore, El Al had to move some of the cargo to a parallel flight to New York, from where it will fly directly to Los Angeles."

The airline said it had approved the purchase of appropriate clothing for all the delegates to the conference whose bags had been left behind.