Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More of that high quality QANTAS maintenance again

A PASSENGER has revealed her fear at being stuck on a hot plane with 116 other people while a pilot attempted unsuccessfully to start it. The incident occurred on board flight JQ843 from Hamilton Island to Sydney at 1:50pm on Friday. Traveller Lepa Flaiban said passengers were stuck on the hot, stuffy A320 aircraft while the pilot tried to start it.

“The plane had no air conditioning and the heat at Hamilton Island was unbearable,” she said. “The pilot tried five times to start the aircraft and the plane wouldn’t start. We were then asked to leave the plane so they could start it manually.”

Ms Flaiban said the passengers started to panic after being told there was something wrong with the plane. “Everyone was very upset on board and very nervous.”

The passengers were then told to leave the plane and board another, which was scheduled to fly to Brisbane. The plane was turned back from take-off to be used by the Sydney-bound passengers instead.

Ms Flaiban said the approximately half the passengers from the flight decided to book with Virgin Blue instead.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway has confirmed the incident and said staff did all they could to minimise disruptions. He said the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit, which drives the air conditioning and other aspects of the aircraft, became unserviceable. The pilot tried to activate the unit but was unsuccessful and it then had to be recharged by the ground power unit.

The Sydney flight was delayed by one hour and 46 minutes as a result, and the Brisbane flight, carrying 76 people, was delayed by over four hours.

Mr Westaway said the airline moved to minimise delays to passengers by getting the Sydney-bound flight in the air as soon as possible to avoid breaching the airport curfew. “We were in a difficult situation and we apologise for the delay,” Mr Westaway said. “We had to meet safety standards and avoid a curfew breach at Sydney Airport, which would have led to further delays across the network. “We had a regrettable situation and we stand by the decision made. We handled the situation very well.

“Passengers should not be fearful in these situations.” [Really??]


No comments:

Post a Comment