CAPTION: Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.
THE Consumer Council is calling on Air Pacific to take responsibility for delays in its services rather than leaving consumers to bear the costs of missing and changing flights.
An Air Pacific flight to Sydney this morning (3rd June 2013) scheduled for a 9am departure was delayed up till 11.30am. The Council received phone calls from irate customers who were being informed of the flight delay with Air Pacific shifting the delay every half hour. Customers were first informed of a half hour delay and then the airline kept on moving scheduled every 30 minutes. This created a lot of confusion and frustration for customers, many of whom were scheduled for connecting flights to other destinations out of Sydney.
The situation was being made worse by the fact that those passengers who had not booked flights through Air Pacific were not being looked after by the airline in terms of arrangements to address their missed connecting flights. These consumers were advised to contact their travel agents.
The Council was informed by affected passengers that the delay was due to an “operational” reason rather than mechanical problem. Thus we believe Air Pacific must bear full responsibility and take all measures to provide redress to affected passengers by making alternative arrangements to allow the passengers to get to their destinations.
The Council is calling on the Air Transport Licensing board to investigate the incident and to ensure that any licensed airline must take full responsibility for its own faults and not allow consumers to suffer. Air travelers and in fact the Fijian public expects a high level of responsibility and accountability from the national carrier, and that it lives up to expectations.
Note:- The Jet is currently seeking comments from Air Pacific on the matter.