Tension in NAIA as Air China cancels flight

By Raoul Esperas

Posted at Jun 12 2014 04:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2014 12:52 AM

MANILA - Tension flared up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Thursday after Air China failed to explain why a flight to Beijing was cancelled.

Some 137 passengers of Air China flight CA 180 were supposed to depart at 6:30 a.m. for USA via Beijing when ground staff announced that there will be a slight delay due to baggage loading.

However, hours have already passed and passengers seated at the Gate 16 final boarding area still have not received a word from any of the Air China ground staff.

Passenger Shane Calkin sensed there was a problem with the aircraft, which may have caused the delay. Calkin said he is disappointed with the way Air China handled the affected passengers.

Calkin and spouse Jean arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 around 1 a.m. By 1 p.m., they were still waiting for information on the status of their flight.

Elena Kopet and her husband, meanwhile, demanded a full refund of their tickets. They said they have decided to buy new tickets from another airline so as they can continue with their trip.

"We already purchased another ticket because Air China is not even honest with the passengers as to the status of their flight, which is more than 12 hours delayed," Kopet said.

Charmagne Co-unyeng, who is travelling with her family, also expressed her disappointment with the way Air China handled its passengers.

"Air China is useless, they don't even explain to passengers as what will be the next action of the airline," she said.

Air China ground staff said some of the passengers will be billeted in a hotel along Roxas Boulevard while some 20 Chinese passengers will be accommodated at the airport lounge.

Air China did not elaborate on the technical problem of the aircraft that caused the flight cancellation. It also did not say when the passengers will be allowed to continue with their flight.