Stuck bags add to tangles at Paris airports amid travel boom

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tangle  / ˈtæŋ gəl / (n.) – a disorganized or confusing situation

    The project was delayed because we encountered some tangles along the way.

  2. knock-on / nɒk ɒn / (adj.) – indirectly causing other situations or events to happen 

    Higher gasoline prices can have a knock-on effect on grocery prices.

  3. strike / straɪk / (n.) – a situation where workers stop working to make their employers agree to their demands 

    There are fewer buses today because a lot of bus drivers went on strike for better pay.

  4. kick off / kɪk ɔf / (idiom) – to start or begin something

    The week-long convention kicks off on Monday.

  5. spare / spɛər / (v.) – to prevent someone or something from being affected by something harmful or inconvenient

    I was spared the hassle of long commutes because of the work-from-home arrangement.


Read the text below.

Airlines worked to deliver luggage to passengers around the world after a technical breakdown left at least 1,500 bags stuck at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, the latest of several tangles hitting travelers this summer.

The airport’s baggage sorting system had a technical malfunction last July 1 that caused 15 flights to depart without luggage, leaving about 1,500 bags on the ground, according to the airport operating company. The airport handled about 1,300 flights overall on that day, the operator said.

Union activists said many more passengers flew without their bags, apparently because of knock-on effects from the original breakdown.

It came as airport workers are on strike at French airports to demand more hiring and more pay to keep up with high global inflation. Because of the strike, aviation authorities canceled 17% of flights out of the Paris airports on the morning of July 1, and another 14% were canceled on July 2.

Passengers on canceled flights were alerted days ahead of their flights. The scene at Charles de Gaulle on July 2 was busy but typical for the first weekend in July, when France’s summer travel season kicks off.

Unions plan to continue striking until July 3 but no flights have been canceled so far. They have threatened to renew the strike the following weekend if negotiations with company management don’t succeed in finding a compromise.

Until now, French airports had been largely spared the chaos seen recently at airports in London, Amsterdam and some other European and U.S. cities. Airlines and airports that slashed jobs during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis are struggling to keep up with soaring demand as travel resurges after two years of virus restrictions.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The airport’s baggage sorting system had a technical malfunction, leaving about 1,500 bags on the ground. If you were one of the passengers, would you agree to fly without your luggage? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you think airport authorities can do to reduce the challenges that the airport is currently facing (ex. lessen flights, hire more people)? What about the passengers (ex. use electronic tags, use smaller luggage)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Demand for travel is beginning to increase once more. Would you also like to try traveling abroad anytime soon? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is your country ready to open to tourists? Why or why not? Discuss.