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Passengers’ fury after KQ and Jambojet flight disruptions

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | January 4th 2017
Kenya Airways Aircraft after landing at Moi International Airport road in Mombasa County.(Photo: Maarufu Mohamed/Standard)

Kenya Airways (KQ) and its low-cost subsidiary Jambojet have been criticised for leaving their passengers stranded at airports.

Hoteliers from the Kenyan Coast have decried loss of business due to Jambojet “dumping” passengers away from their planned destinations while a number of customers have complained the airlines had ruined their holidays.

Kenya Airways scheduled flights to Europe have been affected by bad weather, resulting in disruptions where some of its aircraft have been diverted mid-air.

The airline said the flight disruptions were not unique to it but that they affected the entire industry.

The airline had on Friday issued a statement informing its customers that there would be disruptions of flights to Europe and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) due to bad weather.

Among the flights that KQ had said would be affected were those going in and out of London, Paris, Amsterdam and Dubai.

The flight to Paris on December 30 was, for instance, rerouted to another airport in France and later to Schiphol in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

PROMISE OF REFUNDS

Some of the airline’s customers have taken to social media to narrate their harrowing experiences in Amsterdam, especially those who did not have EU passports, claiming the airline had abandoned them.

The passengers were denied entry to the country as they did not have Dutch visas, with the only communication from KQ asking them to make their own accommodation arrangements, with a promise of refunds.

The national carrier, however, capped the per night spending at €120. The airline has since said it has been in touch with all the affected passengers and settled the issue.

“We have been able to get in touch with all of them and have settled the matter,” said Wanjiku Mugo, KQ’s communications manager.

“We can request for visas and also got them hotels, but beyond that there is little that we can do,” she added.

One of the passengers who had been vocal about the KQ’s conduct has since deleted her comments on her social media pages and instead put up a new post accepting an apology from the airline.

Jambojet has also been accused of ruining some of its customers’ holiday plans.

The low-cost carrier was accused of marketing flights on the Nairobi-Ukunda and Nairobi-Malindi routes to increase bookings, only to “dump” passengers in Mombasa.

In another instance, the carrier is said to have flown an aircraft that was too big to land on the Ukunda airstrip.

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