Swire Group

Flight delays top 40 hours; baggage lost

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am

Golfer Urvashi Sethi's holiday to New Delhi got off to a rough start thanks to Severe Typhoon Vicente, and the ordeal got worse when she reached her destination but her bags did not.

'The nightmare continues,' the 40-year-old professional golfer said, adding that about half of the travellers on her Cathay Pacific flight were missing their baggage.

She had faced a 20-hour delay in Hong Kong as airlines struggled to cope in the aftermath of the city's worst storm since 1999.

And Sethi wasn't the only one complaining - some passengers at Chek Lap Kok airport said they waited for 40 hours or more. Many were still waiting for airlines to confirm their flights.

The Airport Authority said 190 flights were delayed yesterday, three days after Vicente swept in, but the delays were significantly shorter than in previous days. Half of the flights departed or arrived within an hour of their scheduled time.

Passenger Ye Huiling expected to spend only a few hours in Hong Kong en route from Shanghai to Auckland, but a six-hour delay to her Dragonair flight from Shanghai meant she missed her connection.

When she went to the ticketing counter after she arrived at 1am yesterday, she was told no one would be available to help until 7am.

By the time she flies out at 8.55pm tomorrow she will have been delayed for 44 hours, and will now have to transfer via Brisbane.

Zhou Lee, his wife and three children had been waiting for 38 hours at the airport as their New York-bound Cathay Pacific flight was cancelled.

They arrived in Hong Kong from the eastern city of Huzhou at midnight on Tuesday, but have yet to receive confirmation of onward flights. 'It's ridiculous how disorganised Hong Kong International Airport is,' he said.

Cathay, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express said the delays would continue for a few more days, and further cancellations might be necessary.

Dragonair and Cathay's websites last night warned against non-essential travel between now and Sunday, while Hong Kong Airlines warned against non-essential travel before Tuesday.