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Travel Chaos over the Holidays at Jambojet

Travel Chaos over the Holidays at Jambojet

As reported here were hundreds of Jambojet passengers stranded at airports over the festive season, when their flights were delayed, canceled or else landed travelers at the wrong airports, like Malindi instead of Lamu and Mombasa instead of Ukunda. 

The swift and harsh reaction by the Kenya Coast Tourism Association’s chairman Mr. Mohammed Hersi and a number of hoteliers and tour operators from the coast, but also from passengers who caused a s***storm on social media, has borne immediate results when the Kenya Civil Aviation Director General Mr. Gilbert Kibe yesterday responded to the situation. 

KCTA, formerly known as MCTA or Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association, too will have meetings with the Cabinet Secretaries for Tourism and Transport over the situation but what the airline should be even more worried about is the fallout caused with the regulators, who have a range of options to respond to passenger complaints. This can include orders to compensate, fines or even a suspension of services, the latter something Mr. Hersi stressed was not the intention of KCTA which aimed at service improvements at Jambojet, not to shut them down. 

Kibe, in a letter to KCTA, assured the organization that the delays, cancellations and subsequent dumping of passengers at wrong airports would be looked into straight away and appropriate action taken. 

The airline and its communications staff also came under fire over taking too long to own up to the mess they had created and then in a feeble statement argued that a technical fault on one of their turboprops and the failure to have an additional leased aircraft arrive in time led to the problems when all their flights were fully booked. 

However, social media comments on the airline’s Facebook page have in the past repeatedly shown dissatisfaction of passengers though not on this massive scale, when flights were delayed or ‘consolidated’. 

Low cost should not be the same as low service‘ wrote a Nairobi based regular reader before adding ‘Getting to the coast was a nightmare and I only hope that returning from Malindi Airport to Nairobi will not end up the same. I lost valuable vacation time! In a civilized business environment airlines would be forced to compensate us for delays or flight cancellations, offer meals and drinks or put someone up in a decent hotel. But here, they just do as they please, as if we don’t count or are a nuisance to them. Worst of it, their staff disappear when they are most needed, phones go unanswered and social media comments are not answered other. If you are lucky you get a standardized reply which could have been written by a robot with no relevance to the issue raised‘.

All eyes will now be on KCAA how swift and comprehensive their investigation will be and what ruling they hand down to Jambojet in coming days.

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