IRROPS of ET644 on Dec 19 2018

Old Dec 20, 18, 6:58 am
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IRROPS of ET644 on Dec 19 2018

Was going to fly ET645 from HKG to ADD on Dec 20. Just decided to look at flight status of ET644 this morning and noticed that on ET's own website, it shows "delayed", "cancelled due to fuel shortage" and "estimated 521pm" all in the same box. Then emailed reservations in Hong Kong only to find out that they had no idea what was going on. Then found out on flightaware that flight diverted to Mumbai and landed at 7:57am IST, so I thought it was really fuel shortage so all they had to do was stop in Mumbai, refuel and take off, and then flight would actually arrive at 520pm Hong Kong time. All this time Hong Kong airport's website shows no information regarding ET644. Then by 5:45pm, Hong Kong reservations called to say that ET645 has been pushed back to 10am from 0030am. The person said that he actually does not know what is going on anyway; only that the plane seems to be grounded in Mumbai but there is no news as to why. The most comprehensive information came from Hong Kong airport's website a little later; ET644 arriving into HKG and departing to MNL cancelled. ET645 arriving from MNL retimed from 2335 to 1130, and ET645 departing from HKG to ADD retimed from 0030 to 1215. Had another conversation with Hong Kong reservation and last they knew was that the plane would depart straight from Mumbai to MNL, then MNL to HKG, and then HKG to ADD. There is no traffic right between HKG and MNL anyway so they can get away with this; just that the HKG bound passengers on ET644 are in for a very long ride.

I am sitting comfortably at home with this delay, but I can empathize with those on ET644 stuck in Mumbai now. And again, there seems to be so little information flowing through that the people at Reservations don't even know what to tell customers or respond to their enquiries. Worse, the ET app still shows the original flight time(s).

If you are supposedly the best airline in Africa, please act like it during IRROPS. I don't know whether to think something went terribly wrong with your aircraft, or the crew on ET644 simply went above hours and needed the layover in Mumbai before continuing their journey onto HKG and MNL. In any case, you need to be transparent with what is going on with your customers.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 4:18 am
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Originally Posted by zhaobao View Post
If you are supposedly the best airline in Africa
This is according to Skytrax only, which is skewed and biased if paid for.
But which seasoned traveller/FT do really trust Skytrax?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 3:16 am
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Follow up on what subsequently happened.

So went to check in for ET645 the next morning and I noticed that only two check in counters were open. Apparently most passengers checked in the night before and only found out when they arrived at airport that the flight would be re-timed. Airport staff (the agent that handles all Hong Kong reservations and check in operations) also surprised that "HQ did not simply notify all passengers with the press of a button". Anyway breezed through check in. Thanks to bidding for upgrade, got the comfort of lounge hopping in Hong Kong before boarding flight. The flight itself was very pleasant the the crew very professional so can't complain on the actual flight experience.

Passengers who had connections were seriously impacted and the ground staff at boarding gate were being yelled at nonstop. I feel sorry for them.
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