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OZ211 on March 24
[*]OZ211 from Asiana was delayed about 19.5 hrs
[*]Passengers were stuck in the plane more than 4 hrs but no 30 min announcements were made. There were less frequent announcements on asking us to go to gate
[*]No instructions were given at the gate when the flight was “cancelled”(pilot finally announced it)
[*]No English instructions were given to find hotels – some people went to hotel and some slept at the airport
[*]OZ211 was delayed again the next day 3/25
[*]OZ211 was reverted to Jeju due to weather condition – we were placed in local hotel
[*]There was some post in Korean site that the plane was not CAT III approved? what does that mean?
[*]Upon final arrival in ICN on 3/26, Asiana handed out $200 VOUCHER with 1 yr expiration
How many illegal things do you see here?
1. English not spoken at the gate (the airline admitted that)
2. Tarmac Delays? some passengers were in the plain for 4 hrs some came out but
3. Airline changed their stories to “cancelled” to “delays”
4. What is CAT III and how do I know if the pilot was qualified pilot?
I know it’s a long post but really upsets me how they were planning everything to get away with this. I still think handing out voucher was an orchestrated way of settling with customers who don’t know their rights and law. I feel there are many things that are wrong here.
Could you share your thoughts?
One of the passengers wrote below
Dear Asiana Airlines,
I had the unfortunate luck of booking Asiana flight 211 from SFO to Incheon Airport. On Saturday March 24th when I arrived at the airport I was witness to delays, delays, and more delays. The incident is well documented, and Mark Lentz’s twitter gives a fair appraisal of the overall mood of the customers of the flight, mine included. This twitter link is provided below:
To summarize my personal areas of frustration in chronological order:
1) Asiana’s lounge in SFO A terminal did not allow our entry because we were not business class passengers, and there were business passengers expected on an arriving flight. The lounge was not crowded, and temporary entrance not permitted. Earliest allowance would have been 11pm which was around our EXPECTED departure time.
2) At SFO, Waited at gate for delayed boarding time.
3) From SFO Flight delayed due to mechanical issues.
4) From SFO Flight canceled.
5) SFO, Minimal communication at the gate on how to handle hotel bookings. This was ~ 4 AM in the morning and everyone was tired after a long day.
6) From SFO, last minute gate change.
7) The next day at SFO, boarding once again delayed past posted time.
8) From SFO, delays on take-off due to paperwork.
9) Plane diverted to Jeju. Minimal communication about what would occur in Jeju.
10) Told to get off the plane in Jeju, but not told where to go, or what to do for English-speaking passengers. Could not easily find representatives to ask. When representatives found, they could not direct us.
11) From Jeju, plane delayed boarding.
12) From Jeju, plane delayed due to paperwork.
When finally landing at Incheon, I was surprised that the transfers were waiting on the table right outside the gate as this was the one thing done absolutely correct on an otherwise harrowing experience. Up to that point few details on connecting flights were given except recommendations to figure it out in Incheon.
The outcome from all this, besides a story to warn all those around me, was a loss of two days from my trip to Vietnam which was unrecoverable. This also includes the sunk-cost of the two-day’s worth of housing at my final destination which I was not present to use.
While I would never suggest flying or landing in un-safe circumstances, numerous of the listed frustrations were not caused by safety, but by the general mishandling of communication. Many of the delays felt that they could have been resolved with just a bit more foresight.
Due to these frustrations, I request a refund on the leg of my journey from SFO to Ho Chi Minh City. If this is not possible I wish to redeem the provided $200 Asiana credit for cash as I have no intention of flying on another Asiana Airlines flight again if it can be helped.
Please let me know what information or steps are required to get this done.
Was that letter sent to Asiana? What was the outcome?
Also, while this is no doubt a very frustrating situation, I’d caution that nothing Asiana did seems to be actually illegal. I’m not sure why failure to have English speaking staff in a foreign country is against the law?
If you have any travel insurance, whether purchased separately or through you credit card… Then this would be a great instance to try to recover some of your costs that way, rather than fight the airline.
Hello DHL, CAT III refers to a category of Instrument landing system used for landing in bad weather.
Just as an example at SFO only 1 runway is equipped with CAT III systems.
Las Vegas is only CAT I
JFK only have 1 runway equipped with CAT III systems, but have CAT I&II on their other runways.