In Rome, Not Even the Luggage Can Be Fat: 60 Heavy Suitcases Delayed for Days

About 60 suitcases bound for Rome were held back at Ben-Gurion Airport after the pilot said the charter flight would be too heavy. The passengers were not informed when they boarded the aircraft.

The charter flight, Wind Jet 7983, took off from Ben-Gurion on June 22.

"The screw-up really hurt us," said Aryeh Shmueli of Tel Aviv. "We received our suitcase only four days later. Besides having to buy clothing, toiletries and other items, we suffered anxiety and distress, which greatly reduced our enjoyment from the trip - we were afraid the suitcase would be lost, and we'd be left without our necessities."

Shmueli said he and his wife, Shoshana, spent hours waiting at the Rome airport until they realized the bag was not on the flight.

"We had to submit a complaint and fill out various forms. We lost a whole day of our trip, and arrived at our hotel only that evening," Shmueli said.

The Israel Airports Authority said in response: "On that flight, two trolleys filled with suitcases were removed from the aircraft and placed in the baggage sorting area due to overweight. The process is not our responsibility, but rather that of the airline, which knows the weight limitations of its planes."

Rafael Matalon, the managing director of Aerohandling, which is responsible for ground services at Ben-Gurion for Wind Jet, told Haaretz that the flight captain had refused to load the 60 suitcases.

"It wasn't a mishap or a mistake on our part," Matalon said.