Airline founder flies to Japan to personally apologise to stranded passengers

 Tuesday, May 16, 2023 


The founder of a Taiwanese airline flew down to Japan to apologise in-person for a long delay that forced passengers to spend the night at the airport.

Chang Kuo-wei, chairman of Starlux Airlines, flew to Tokyo Narita Airport in Japan on May 7 after a series of problems forced passengers to spend the previous night at the airport in sleeping bags.

Passengers on flight JX803 were initially supposed to board at 3.45 pm on May 6, but were told their flight had been pushed to 4.20 pm without any explanation.

At 5.30 pm, boarding had still not begun – and in the meantime, passengers of flight JX801 also joined the waiting JX803 passengers.

A staff member informed passengers that the two flights were being merged.

Passengers of flight JX803 grew increasingly annoyed by this, as they realised their flight had not been delayed because of weather but so that the two flights could merge and leave together as one.

Boarding for the flight finally began at 7 pm – well past its original take-off time of 3.45 pm. However, the ordeal wasn’t yet over.

After boarding, passengers were told that flight crew had exceeded their permissible working hours and therefore they would have to wait for a new crew.

Passengers were kept on the plane till midnight, and the flight was then cancelled because of Tokyo Narita Airport’s curfew.

Even then, they were not allowed to leave the aircraft until 1 am, when sleeping bags were procured for them. They were then forced to sleep at the airport.

While the airline provided dinner, they had to buy their own breakfast the next morning.

Passengers were told the flight would take off at 6 am in the morning, but it was delayed yet again to 8 am.

In the morning, the airlines founder Chang Kuo-wei arrived at the airport to personally apologise to the stranded passengers.

Kuo-wei blamed bad weather for the delays – an explanation that few bought – and also promised passengers a full refund.

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