Jetstar’s 14-hr delay leaves hundreds stranded overnight in northern Vietnam

Passengers were each given VND400,000 ($17.86) in compensation.

Jetstar Pacific Flight BL519 passengers sleep on waiting seats at Cat Bi International Airport in Hai Phong City at 2:00 am February 15, 2017.

Passengers of a Ho Chi Minh City-bound flight with Jetstar Pacific from the northern city of Hai Phong on Tuesday were made to spend the night at the airport, with the flight repeatedly delayed before eventually canceled.

The flight, BL519, was initially scheduled to take off from Cat Bi International Airport at 8:40 pm on Tuesday, with nearly 180 passengers bound to board the plane.

However, prior to departure day, passengers received a text message from the airline informing them that the departure time would be delayed until fifty past midnight on Wednesday, according to Nguyen Thu Trang, one of the passengers.

Past 10:00 pm on Tuesday, when many BL519 passengers had already arrived at the airport for check-in, the airline sent another text message announcing a further delay until 1:40 am the following day.

After most passengers had gone through security screenings and were waiting to board the plane close to the new departure time, the airline announced that the flight had been cancelled and asked passengers to reclaim their checked in baggage.

Passengers were told to board another flight departing at 11:35 am on Wednesday, and were each given VND400,000 ($17.86) in compensation.

As it was way past midnight, the passengers had no choice but to spend the night at the airport to wait for their noon flight.

In total, flight BL519 was delayed for over 14 hours.

A Jetstar Pacific representative said on Wednesday that flight BL519 had to be cancelled due to operational reasons and the fact that Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport was overloaded at the time.

Many passengers disagreed with such reasoning, and criticized the airlines for its lack of responsibility over the stranded flyers.

Jetstar Pacific Flight BL519 passengers ready to board a 11:35 am flight bound for Ho Chi Minh City on February 15, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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