Hundreds hit by airport chaos

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Nearly 2,000 Norwegian tourists, most of them retirees, have been stranded or left without baggage on Grand Canary Island in recent days, following an airport strike during the weekend.

“This has caused full chaos,” Leo Bærbu of package tour operator Apollo Reiser told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It was only worse during the volcanic eruptions last spring.”

An estimated 200 Norwegians booked on SAS and Norwegian flights had to spend another unexpected night on the island when the strike by ground personnel for Iberia Airlines at the airport grounded flights. Apollo, meanwhile, continued to fly in passengers from Norway, but the lack of baggage handlers meant that their luggage failed to be sorted at the airport.

Around 6,000 suitcases piled up all over the airport, reported Ekstra Bladet. “People are desperate,” one couple told the Danish newspaper. “We waited for six hours for our bags before we just left empty-handed for the hotel.”

Some joked that there was a run on shorts and other clothing for warm temperatures at local stores, since all the northern European and Scandinavian tourists only had the winter clothes they were wearing.

There were some reports that Iberia personnel may strike again every weekend in November. “That will be my worst nightmare,” Bærbu said.

Views and News staff