By PATRICK VIDIJA @vidijapatrick
Monday, October 03, 2016
Kenya Airways plane takes off at Moi International Airport in Mombasa /NORBERT ALLAN
Thousands of passengers were left stranded yesterday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as the national carrier, Kenya Airways, cancelled more than 24 flights.
Former politician Kenneth Matiba and his family were among those stranded. Sources said KQ had told passengers there was an “imminent delay due to technical reasons”.
“We regret to inform you that your October 2 flight KQA8604 is facing an imminent delay. Next update on departure timings will be in 40 minutes. Inconvenience caused are highly regretted,” read one of the messages.
But the Star established that after 45 minutes, passengers were told to wait for about three hours, after which the matter would be sorted.
By 2pm, the management had not communicated any further details on what was going on. This provoked angry passengers to react. Some had been kept waiting since Saturday night.
“I came here yesterday. I slept here after we were notified our flight to Mombasa had technical issues. In the morning, we were told to wait for 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, then three hours, then two more hours,” said one passenger who declined to be named.
“This is very disappointing. All my plans have been altered.” He said KQ only sent them flight attendants to console them with snacks. The management intervened after angry passengers grabbed one of the female attendants and threatened to beat her. Efforts to reach Kenya Airways were unsuccessful as calls went unanswered.
Jambo Jet offered passengers vouchers they could use to book subsequent flights or purchase food and beverages.
A message on the voucher read, “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.Kindly accept this voucher as a token of our appreciation for your patience. You may redeem it for meals and refreshments at the airport or aboard our flights on the day of issue.”