Aviation

Residents of remote community charter their own flights after airline cancels

What do you do if your airline cancels flights? Charter your own plane, obviously.

You may think we’re joking, but that’s exactly what residents of Maningrida did when their only airline, Airnorth, cancelled services last minute, leaving passengers stranded.

Where exactly is Maningrida, you ask?

It’s located in the heart of the Arnhem Land region of the Northern Territory, and has just one airport, and one airline.

According to the ABC, Airnorth apologised for changes and cancellations for an apparent pilot shortage back in January – but over 30 Maningrida residents were left without flights just last week.

One of said residents, Carol Forde, paid almost $500 for a flight a few months ago to visit her father in Darwin.

The hour-long flight was scheduled to depart on the Friday afternoon, but was cancelled on the Thursday night.

And Forde wasn’t having a bar of it.

“There were people booked on flights to Bali the next day; there were people booked to go down to Melbourne and Sydney on the red eye.”

“It was anger, it was disbelief, it was like: ‘Not again, we need to do something,'” she told the ABC. 

Airnorth offered disgruntled passengers refunds or seats on flights over the next few days, but that wasn’t good enough for Forde, who eventually organised for chartered planes to depart just one day later.

The total $4,320 cost was split between seven other happy travellers.

Amazing, right?9675592-3x2-940x627

She also speculated that flights in regional areas were the first to be cancelled because they were so remote.

In Maningrida, for example, roads in and out can be cut for months at a time – meaning flights in and out are sometimes the only option.

“There’s a constant feeling out there that it happens because we’re remote,” Forde said.

Airnorth apologised yet again for the inconvenience in a statement to the ABC, and said four flights between Darwin and Arnhem Land and the Gulf Region were cancelled due to an ill crew.

“Arnhem Land customers impacted by the disruption on Friday were rebooked on services the next day or offered a full refund,” the statement read.

“Airnorth apologises to our affected customers for any inconvenience caused.”

But Forde said refunded flights were not enough compensation for some passengers losing other bookings as a result of cancelled flights.

“Whenever flights are cancelled or they’re hours late, there’s nothing on the other end,” she said.

“You lose your accommodation on the other end, you lose flights on the other end. We’ve had families lose bookings over to Bali.

Now, Forde plans to start a petition in a bid to make Airnorth more accountable.

“For me, I’ve been out there eight years and this is a regular occurrence,” she said.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

P&O axes BDM model for centralised approach

The cruise line has flipped its travel agent support system on its head and done a 180. Next, it will try perfect the worm and a double backflip.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Four unforgettable experiences found in Malaysian Borneo

by Sponsored by Tourism Malaysia

A Malaysian state well-known for its islands and wildlife parks, Sabah provides ample wildlife experiences in the outdoors.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Klook’s Jonathan Williams

This week, we chat with Klook’s marketing director for Australia and New Zealand about Pete Townshend, ambient anxiety and his jaunts to the South Coast.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Taxpayers paid 10 times fair value for land next to Western Sydney Airport, audit finds

It turns out the land that may be used to construct a second runway at the new airport was purchased for way more than what it was worth a year earlier.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Thai national park sends trash to litterbugs’ houses

We reckon this strategy should be employed everywhere, and it’s not just because it means that we would be allowed to post dog poop to our colleague when the office dog leaves a nasty surprise.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

BGH Capital expands travel footprint with investment in Aussie OTA

It failed to nab Virgin, but secured a takeover deal with Village Roadshow. Now, the private equity firm has befriended an OTA.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia to reopen borders with NSW, provided no community cases today

by Christian Fleetwood

If today proves to be a great day for NSW in terms of coronavirus cases, its residents will finally be able to enjoy a quarantine-free vino spree across South Australia.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Rex in line for $150m of funding, Velocity’s ‘Double Points’ campaign + MORE

We can’t promise this week’s Aviation Wrap is all good news, but at least Rex shareholders and Velocity Frequent Flyers have something to cheer about.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess Cruises sells two Aussie-based ships

Princess Cruises has waved bon voyage to two of its ships in line with parent company Carnival’s plan to speed up the removal of less-efficient vessels.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flight Centre research shows business travel is beginning to bounce back

However, that’s not to say business travellers have begun to use pogo sticks to get around. Although, that probably would help with social distancing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Hacker uses boarding pass to reveal Tony Abbott’s personal details

Qantas has thanked an Aussie hacker for exposing a potential privacy breach after they managed to find the former PM’s passport number and contact details.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

COVID-19 can be mitigated on cruise ships with the right measures, says expert panel

While this is fantastic news, it is worth noting the expert panel was assembled by two giants of the cruise industry. But hey, a win is a win.

Share

CommentComments