Angered by callous attitude

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 April, 1997, 12:00am

On Saturday, April 12, I went to Kai Tak airport to pick up my sister who was flying from England to Hong Kong on Gulf Air, changing at Bahrain.

The plane, flight 150, was due to land at 3.50pm and on arrival at the airport at 4pm the notice board stated 'Arrived'.

I waited for two hours and finally went to the Jardine counter to ask if all passengers had been cleared from flight 150. I was told that all luggage had been cleared and explained that my sister had not yet come through the gates. The assistant then said she would check with immigration. Quick phone call. 'No one has been held up by immigration.' I asked if I could give my sister's name for someone to help check (I believe this is standard procedure) and was refused.

I then asked if anyone could help me, or where I should go. 'No one has been held up by immigration and I cannot help you any further.' I went home and had no alternative but to ring my father in Britain and check that she had already left. This caused much distress to my elderly father trying to extract information from the airport with no success.

About midnight, by which time we were all frantic with worry, I received a phone call from a Bahrain hotel to say there had been an airport strike and none of the planes had left. I cannot believe that no one at Jardine could not have given me an explanation. Immigration officials would not have known my sister's flight number, as it wasn't given to them.

Did Jardine not know that the plane had been cancelled and if not, why not? Gulf Air must have known. Why didn't someone check with Gulf Air? Why did the notice board show the plane as having arrived? I was worried sick about my sister, but no one at Jardine seemed interested or offered any kind of suggestions as to what steps to take. I find the attitude of Jardine staff totally unacceptable and callous, and would like a full explanation.

SYLVIA TALBOT New Territories