Angry passengers on a Thai Smile Airways flight sat in a stuffy plane for two hours, waiting for buses to the terminal
Angry Thai Smile Airways passengers complained to Airports of Thailand that after arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport, they were forced to sit on the plane for two hours due to a lack of shuttle buses and drivers to take passengers to the terminal.
One female passenger, Amornrat Viriyaroy, shared an angry social media post saying she was flying from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on a Thai Smile Airways flight, the same airline on which Indian passengers recently got into a scuffle. The plane left Chiang Rai Airport at 8:20 p.m. and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 10:15 p.m. as scheduled.
The flight attendant informed passengers that the buses to the terminal would be about 15 minutes late. Everyone lined up and waited to get off the plane as advertised. However, after 15 minutes the buses never arrived, nor did they arrive half an hour later.
The passengers returned to their seats after 40 minutes. The plane was poorly ventilated and the temperature inside was getting higher and higher. People began to feel uncomfortable and asked the staff for a bus schedule. The staff could not give any intelligible answers and asked passengers to wait.
Amornrat said that several disgruntled passengers personally contacted airline staff and ground services at Suvarnabhumi Airport to find out the reason for the delay. However, they were unable to get an explanation.
A ten-seater minibus picked up a few passengers rushing to transfer to another flight, but more than 100 people were still trapped on board the plane nearly two hours later.
Around midnight, several passengers lost patience and demanded that staff unlock the plane’s doors. The airline staff tried to stop them, saying that airport security measures did not allow passengers to walk around the runway, but the stranded people ignored their warnings and got off the plane.
Only then did buses pull up to the plane and pick up the passengers and take them to the airport terminal, Amornrat said. “It’s a trip with Thai Smile where no one smiles,” the disgruntled passenger stated.
Airports of Thailand said Thai Smile Airways shuttle buses did not pick up passengers on time from two flights, Chiang Rai-Bangkok, which arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10:25 p.m., and Khon Kaen-Bangkok, which arrived at 10:40 p.m.
The delay was due to a shortage of shuttle bus drivers and shuttle buses. Airports of Thailand noted that Thai Airways has been warned not to repeat the problem.
The airline has agreed to hire more employees and purchase more shuttle buses to improve service.
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