• Fri
  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 3:17am
NewsHong Kong

Anger at Chek Lap Kok as passengers stranded by Typhoon Usagi

Hundreds of angry travellers blame airlines for keeping them in the dark about flights as they spend night at Chek Lap Kok

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 September, 2013, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 September, 2013, 3:03am

Frustrated air travellers spent the night at Chek Lap Kok airport last night after flights were cancelled or delayed.

Some angry passengers blamed airlines for keeping them in the dark about flight schedules after braving winds and heavy rain to reach the airport, only to learn of cancellations or delays. 

As the city battened down its hatches and came to a standstill, hundreds were stranded in the departure hall after more than 446 flights were affected by Severe Typhoon Usagi.

It also prevented hundreds of holidaymakers on package tours from returning home.

The Travel Industry Council said it had not received any requests for help from agencies. Its executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said it could take two days for agencies to bring back all those stranded overseas.

At Chek Lap Kok, 177 arriving flights had been cancelled, while 193 departures were cancelled. A total of 76 flights were also delayed.

Airline counters and information boards were swamped by miserable passengers who flocked around to check updated schedules.

Philip Rubin, 28, who flew in from Chongqing to take an Air China flight back to London, said he only learned that his flight was cancelled when he arrived in Hong Kong.

"The airline should have sent us an e-mail about it," complained Rubin, as he waited at the airline counter with 100 others to see if they could take another flight. He was supposed to be back at work today.

Taiwanese traveller Angela Yang, 30, said she had been kept waiting at the airport for the whole day.

"We arrived early because we were hoping that we could take another flight back to Taiwan. But a lot of people arrived even earlier," said Yang, who was issued chip No 535 for a standby ticket.

"The airline staff just asked me to wait here. They couldn't guarantee anything."

Guy Le Claire's Hong Kong Airlines flight was supposed to take off for Bali, Indonesia, at noon.

He said he checked the airline's website before leaving home and it said the flight would leave on schedule.

"When I came here, I checked the airline's board and it still said it would be leaving on time. But the counter staff said it had been delayed until 4.15pm," Le Claire said.

"I would have appreciated it if they'd simply put up a notice on the website."

Meanwhile, hundreds of Hong Kong travellers on package tours found themselves stranded overseas.

EGL Tours had 300 customers on 10 package tours stranded in Japan, Taiwan or South Korea.

A spokesman said it hoped to get them back to Hong Kong today or tomorrow.

Sunflower Travel had 10 tours stranded overseas, including four in Taiwan. About 300 people were affected.

Wing On Travel had a tour with 29 members stranded in Japan.

The local travel industry had predicted a 10 per cent increase in business during the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend.


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This article is now closed to comments

With weather like that, surely passengers wouldn't want airlines to take the risk of flying? And no point in taking their anger out on frontline staff. What can they do? The airlines themselves don't want cancellations either. And who can they complain to? God? Tien Hau?
We were all forwarned a few days ago of this storm and that all flights would be disrupted.........for these morons to go to the airport in this weather and to complain about the disruption in flights shows how stupid these people are..............pure stupiditity!
We had days of warning that this typhoon was coming and the airlines gave plenty of notice of the shutdown. What do these people expect. My sympathy is with the frontline staff who have to deal with these morons.
Last night on the TV news we had one idiot complaining that the AA would only give him a blanket and water if he asked for it!!! Doh!
totally local, totally idiots
These people are god damn idiots
cathay & hk airport announced on Saturday all flights wiould be canx. Dont these people read ?
'Desperate' travellers? Because they had a flight cancelled for an act of nature? Has this world gone totally mad?


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