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Taylor Swift Fans Complain After Qantas Offloads 65 Bags Before Flight To Concert In Sydney

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On Friday, February 23, Qantas reportedly offloaded bags of over 60 passengers before their flight departed. This was done due to weight restrictions and concerns about the length of the runway. Allegedly, several passengers were also bumped from the flight.

Offloaded bags
Qantas operates a daily flight between Queenstown Airport (ZQN) in New Zealand and Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) in Australia. This three-hour flight is operated as QF-122. It typically departs Queenstown at 15:25 local time and is scheduled to arrive in Sydney at 16:40 local time.

Qantas operates this daily flight with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft that offers two classes: business class and standard economy class. The business class seats 12 passengers, and economy seats 162.

Many passengers had elected to take this flight from Queenstown to Sydney in order to see the famous country and pop star Taylor Swift perform. The singer is scheduled to perform four shows at Accor Stadium in Sydney, with the concerts occurring on Friday, February 23, through Monday, February 26.

However, Qantas was forced to offload several bags of passengers on this flight. In a statement, the airline’s representatives said,

“We understand that anytime customers’ baggage doesn’t arrive, it is extremely frustrating. Due to strong winds in Queenstown, we had to carry extra fuel, which meant some customer’s bags weren’t able to be carried. The baggage was put on a flight to Sydney on Saturday and was couriered out to customers.”

This prevented many of the passengers from obtaining their baggage and its contents prior to the Taylor Swift concert that many had traveled to Sydney for. One passenger, Suzanne Pentecost, spoke to Crux about the incident. She said,

“I’m just more fuming as my Taylor Swift outfit is in there which I won’t receive before the concert!”

Queenstown Airport’s shorter runway and weather conditions have recently affected its operations. Several flights have had baggage unloaded due to weather concerns requiring extra fuel, and many passengers have been forced to wait several days to obtain their luggage.

Specifically, on Friday’s flight, the baggage that was unloaded was put on the flight the next day, February 24. However, that aircraft did not land in Sydney until 20:54 local time, after a diversion to Christchurch International Airport (CHC), per Flightradar24. This was several hours after the start of the Taylor Swift concert, so passengers were unable to obtain their required luggage prior to the start of the show.

Other passengers affected
In addition to offloading baggage, Crux also reported that passengers were taken off the flight. One of the passengers, Eileen Cullen, told Crux that she and her daughter were told their flight was unavailable and were rebooked to the same flight on Sunday, February 25. Additionally, Cullen reported that at least four other passengers were bumped from the Friday flight.

Removing passengers and bags from the flight allowed the aircraft to load up on extra fuel. This would have only been required if extremely strong headwinds were present on the flight from Queenstown to Sydney.

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