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LOCAL NEWS: Passengers complain about 'extreme heat' in 2 of airline's planes

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Passengers complain about 'extreme heat' in 2 of airline's planes

AirAsia Zest has explained why this happened on its planes and has apologized to the passengers.

| ANC - 9 hours ago

Various Bayan Patrollers (from ABS-CBN's Bayan Mo, Patrol Mo program), who are also recent passengers of AirAsia Zest flights, are complaining about the extreme heat inside some of the company's planes.

Gretz Sente, who took a video of her experience, boarded an AirAsia Zest plane bound for Cebu (RP C 8997) on July 1. As the plane was waiting on the NAIA Terminal 4 runway, Sente says it was already too hot insidet. Sente adds, they were kept inside for one hour and 18 more minutes before they were transferred to another plane. Sente's video has since gone viral.

Meanwhile, Bayan Patroller MJ Lim also shared with ABS-CBN News a video taken by his fellow passenger, Lex Bonife. Just like the first case, as the plane was waiting for take-off at the NAIA Terminal 4 runway, Lim said he and his fellow passengers had to endure extreme heat. Lim says this happened on July 5, when he boarded an AirAsia Zest plane bound for Kalibo, Aklan (RP 8986).

Lim says his group had asked the airline attendants if they could do something about the temperature, but they were told it would cool down once the plane took off.

However, many passengers could no longer stand the heat, so they chose to get off the plane.

Those passengers were fetched by a bus and were taken back to the terminal. After a while, they were told that there was another plane waiting for them.

In a statement released on Wednesday, July 9, AirAsia Philippines Communications Manager Jenny Bugarin-Tan apologized to the inconvenienced passengers. She explained that the problem on Lim's flight was caused by the malfunctioning of the plane's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).

"We transferred the passengers to another air***ft after the APU of our Airbus RP8986 was unable to supply power to operate the air conditioning system while the air***ft was on ground," the statement read.

Buagarin-Tan also invited concerned passengers to call the airline's customer service hotline, 742-2742, for their queries.

However, some disgruntled AirAsia Zest passengers were not appeased by the airline's explanation and are demanding authorities to conduct a probe on the condition of AirAsia Zest's planes.

Excerpts of the testimonies of AirAsia Zest passengers (with minor editing done for clarity):

From Gretz Sente:

This is the video taken last July 1 [inside] AirAsia air***ft RP C 8997, ang muntik ng pum**** sa family ko at sa iba pang passengers. When we entered the air***ft it was so hot. Wala pang aircon. Parang nasa loob ng oven.

When all the passengers were seated, I asked the flight attendant kung bakit wala pang aircon kasi sobrang init na and yung bata in front of us nagwawala na. Even my daughter kept on saying that it's too hot and pawis n pawis na kaming lahat.

The flight attendant said maya-maya daw i-on [nila] ang aircon. After 20 minutes, hindi pa din naka-on ang aircon and we were all uneasy.

So, pumunta ako sa harap and I confronted the two flight attendants kung bakit wala pa ding aircon. Nakaka-suffocate na. One of the attendants said na lumipat muna kami ng upuan, sa harap muna umupo. I said no. [I told her] ang kailangan naming lahat is aircon. Then, she said na inaayos pa daw. So, sabi ko pababain n'yo muna kami since inaayos pa ang plane kasi ma-su-suffocate kaming lahat.

Almost one hour and 18 minutes kaming trapped sa loob ng air***ft and ni wala silang binibigay kahit complimentary water man lang. Hindi ko 'to pinost para sa sarili and sa family ko lang but para din sa ibang passengers and para hindi na ulitin ng AirAsia ang ginawa nila.

From Lex Bonife:

After a long, hot walk from the departure gate to the plane, we found ourselves inside a hot plane with flight attendants all sweaty.

We were told that there was no power to supply for the air conditioner while waiting on the ground. And we could only have decent air circulation once we have achieved the altitude.

Things got a lot hotter when they closed the doors. Preparation for take off. To make matters worse, we were in line for a take off and we had no number yet unsure of how many more minutes shall we endure what seems to be a 40 degree Celsius temperature inside the cabin (I should know, I am a certified 'hot yoga' instructor).

Everyone was sweating profusely. I knew that the situation is not just inconvenient. It was hazardous to our health. I walked to the flight attendant and demanded that I be taken off the flight.

[After] a few seconds, everyone else followed admitting many of them have become dizzy from the lack of sufficient air circulation.

The plane went back to its parking area cancelling its flight. And were taken by a bus back to the departure area.

[The] management should have sent medics to check on the blood pressure of many of the adults inside [the plane]. But all they did was assure us we are leaving in an hour to the next flight as if it was another usual unavoidable cause of delay.

[Their] negligence got us stuck inside an air***ft that would have been hazardous to the health of its passengers. The heat was stroke-inducing. If the passengers did not insist on turning back and deplaning the temperature of the air***ft could have caused injury to any one of us.

My question is, is transferring us to a new plane enough? What about the delay and the physical hazard the air***ft has caused to its paying customers? What about our rights? I have no answers as I await feedback from Civil Aviation Board and the AirAsia [Zest] management.



Source: Yahoo! Philippines ANC
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