Passengers blast Air Namibia

The national airline remains in the news for all the wrong reasons this week – this time for getting heavy handed with passengers who complained about a nine-hour delay.

21 December 2018 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT

Angry Air Namibia passengers have taken to social media to expose flight delays of more than nine hours and shabby treatment by cabin crew.

Following Monday’s embarrassing incident in which four Air Namibia’s crew members were too intoxicated to fly an aircraft from Johannesburg to Windhoek, passengers on Air Namibia flight SW728 had to endure a flight delay of several hours on Tuesday.

The flight, which was scheduled to depart Johannesburg for Windhoek at 11:20, only took off at 21:00, according to passengers.

Police officers were eventually called in to calm down the unruly passengers.

Three passengers, whom the crew described as a threat, were removed from the aircraft.

According to one of the passengers, Oluwademilade Fayemiwo, she was removed because people were expressing their displeasure about how they were treated.

She posted their entire ordeal on Facebook and also tweeted regular updates about the delayed flight.

“The police came on board and two guys were handpicked, even though almost everyone had expressed their anger.

“While this was going on, I started speaking to one of the cabin crew members named Xavier. In the calmest tone I could muster, I told him their attitude was just wrong.

"Guess what? He told the police to take me off the plane! [He] said I was inciting violence! The police took me off the plane with the two men, [and] said they were trying to calm the situation, but it was up to the crew to decide if we would be let on board again,” Fayemiwo said.

According to her, by that time it was 20:30, while the flight was supposed to have taken off at 11:20.

“I said nothing to the police; I simply stood there like a statue. Eventually, the head of the cabin crew came to the police to tell them I did nothing wrong, so they should let me go,” Fayemiwo added.

The flight eventually took off at 21:00.

During the wait, passengers complained about not being informed about the cause of the delay and it was apparently only after further uproar that the crew eventually brought water on board for the children on the flight.

Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa said airport staff are mandated to make announcements from time to time, in order to keep passengers informed about their flights.

“If this was not done; then it’s very unfortunate from the colleagues who were on duty, but we will look at the reports.”

Nakawa said a media release was issued on Tuesday to apologise to the flying public and affected passengers inconvenienced by delays.

According to Nakawa the flight in question was delayed for only two hours and 17 minutes.

“I must make it clear that this very flight was supposed to leave Johannesburg at 11:20, but it was cancelled due to various reasons. One of the reasons was that the flight had already arrived in Johannesburg an hour late, but it had time to turn around.”

Nakawa said one passenger checked in luggage but never showed up for boarding.

“As per procedures, we cannot release an aircraft to the skies without all the passengers who have checked in, so this led to having to search for the checked-in luggage for an absent passenger, in order (for it) to be offloaded from the aircraft.”

Another reason for the delay was that the A319 aircraft sent from Windhoek to pick up the Johannesburg passengers had to undergo a four-to five-hour maintenance inspection.

“If a delay is expected for hours, passengers will be served with snacks and refreshments at the expense of the airline, while waiting for their departure time to be announced,” said Nakawa.

He said as per the security manual, the decision on whether or not to fly passengers rests with the captain.

“If the cabin controller decided to carry the passenger, the captain may overrule the recommendation where he/she considers the risks involved are unacceptable.”

The security manual further stipulates that the police should be called whenever a passenger’s behaviour is beyond the control of airline staff or their actions are outside the law.

Brendan Dawson posted on Facebook that over the past two weeks, four Air Namibia flights he had been on had been delayed.

“Every flight has been delayed for some or other reason, including not arranging a co-pilot, and other personnel problems it would seem. A very poor performance, I am very disappointed! I have lost so much time because of your delays these past few weeks - including spending six hours at the airport on Monday,” Dawson wrote.

Marlize Rautenbach wrote on 15 December that she had been in Johannesburg for 23 hours but her luggage had not yet arrived.

“Half of the passengers did not receive their luggage and it should have arrived this morning. Every time I phone, the answer I get is 'the flight is delayed' and now they still can't give me a straight answer as to what time I can expect my luggage... RIDICULOUS!!!!!!” she wrote on social media.

Elmarie Wilkinson’s honeymoon was ruined when Air Namibia cancelled her and her husband’s flight to Johannesburg, costing them two nights’ stay in Mauritius.

“This was the only way you helped us, flying to Frankfurt during the night (we don't have visas, so we'll be stuck at the airport for the whole day!!). Now our honeymoon will consist of two full days only waiting on airports and flying at night. And we will eventually spend only four nights in Mauritius!” she wrote.

Similar News

 

Oompangela dhokuhupitha ehangano lyoAir Namibia

4 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Transport

Okomitiye yoKabinete yOmahangano gEpangelo otayi ulike ongundu yaatseyinawa, ndjoka tayi ka ulikwa kwiikwatelelwa komagwedhelepo opo ku tulwepo oompangela oompe dhopangeshefa dhoka tadhi ka hupitha ehangano...

Air Namibia rescue plan

5 days ago - 13 June 2019 | Transport

The Cabinet Committee on Public Enterprises is to appoint a consultancy with a “very specific terms of reference” to come up with a business model...

Westair shakes up aviation sector

6 days ago - 12 June 2019 | Transport

An announcement by privately owned Westair Aviation that it will start offering passenger flights from Windhoek to Oranjemund and Ondangwa could put further pressure on...

Air Namibia business model in spotlight

6 days ago - 11 June 2019 | Transport

The embattled Air Namibia has appointed consultants to come up with a more suitable business model that would allow it to break even in the...

Minister denies Westair connection

6 days ago - 11 June 2019 | Transport

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste today said he has no interest in Westair Aviation as alleged in the local media. He also said denied that...

Westair launches passenger flights

1 week ago - 10 June 2019 | Transport

Westair Aviation has announced the launch of domestic and regional passenger flights, with the maiden flight scheduled for 24 June between Windhoek and Oranjemund, departing...

Air Nam planes seized

1 week ago - 10 June 2019 | Transport

Only one of Air Namibia's four Airbus A319 aircraft is operational at the moment, with the remaining three having been seized in South Africa and...

Mutorwa highlights importance of WBCG

1 week ago - 07 June 2019 | Transport

Works and transport minister John Mutorwa has highlighted the significant role that the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) plays in promoting Namibia as a gateway...

Air Nam denies operational hiccups

2 weeks ago - 31 May 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says current operational challenges are all due to the economic slowdown experienced by all government institutions, but insists that it is business as...

Air Namibia abandons Lagos-Accra route

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2019 | Transport

In a statement issued this morning, Air Namibia announced that it, with immediate effect, has suspended its Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route. The route, which was launched at...

Latest News

Sky is the limit for...

2 hours ago | Technology

Ester Kamati Megan Werner, an experienced model and published author, recently finished building an aircraft along with 20 other youth, which they plan to fly...

The weight of expectation

2 hours ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

It’s not that serious!

2 hours ago | Columns

Ester KamatiThis may be a worn-out topic but the need to talk about it is quite strong. Lately romantic relationships among youth have simply become...

New name for Etakaya

2 hours ago | Education

Justicia Shipena Etakaya Primary School, situated at Etakaya village of Etakaya in the Ohangwena Region, was recently renamed Sakaria H Nghikembua Primary School.The school...

Feeling the momentum!

2 hours ago | Sports

Ester KamatiWindhoek High School’s Vegkop stadium is home to many memorable games when it comes to rugby and this year was no different. The stadium...

Improving Africa through constructive debate

2 hours ago | Education

Ester KamatiThe 2019 Day of the African Child Debate and Public Speaking Championships knockout rounds were held at the St George's ­Diocesan School on 14...

40 000 to benefit from...

2 hours ago | Environment

More than 40 000 beneficiaries are expected to benefit from a climate change project in the Kunene Region.This is 57% of the total population of...

Houses, drought relief food not...

2 hours ago | Infrastructure

People should not see houses built for them as a way for the ruling party to campaign for the upcoming election, but rather as development...

A platform for leadership

2 hours ago | Education

Michelline NawatisesThe City of Windhoek Junior Council (JC) provides a platform for leadership potential and exposes learners to local challenges.They learn about local issues and...

Load More