Furious passengers on Thai Smile Airways flight grounded for 2 hours

Photo via Facebook/ Amornrat Viriyaroj

Furious Thai Smile Airways passengers filed a complaint with the Airport of Thailand (AOT) after they were made to wait on a plane at Suvarnabhumi Airport for two hours because of a lack of shuttle buses and drivers.

One of the passengers, Amornrat Viriyaroj, shared her experience on Facebook. On Monday, Amornrat travelled from Chaing Rai to Bangkok with Thai Smile Airways, the same airline where Indian passengers fought. The plane took off from Mae Fah Luang Airport in Chiang Rai at 8.20pm and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 10.15pm according to the schedule.

The flight attendant informed passengers that the shuttle buses taking them to the passenger terminal would be about 15 minutes late. Each passenger lined up and waited to get off the plane according to the announced time. However, the buses never came.

Passengers returned to their seats after 40 minutes had passed. The plane was poorly ventilated and the temperature inside was getting hotter. Passengers started to feel uncomfortable and asked for staff for confirmation about the shuttle bus schedule. The staff could not provide an answer and asked the passengers to wait.

Amornrat revealed that several disgruntled passengers personally contacted airline and ground servicing staff at Suvarnbhumi Airport to find out about the delay.

A 10-seater minivan picked up some passengers in a hurry to get another connection and families with children but over 100 passengers were still onboard after nearly two hours.

At about midnight, several passengers took measures into their own hands and demanded staff opened the door. Airline staff tried to stop them, saying airport security measures do not allow passengers to walk on the runway, but many passengers ignored it and got off the plane.

Amornrat revealed Thai Airways shuttle buses eventually picked them up not long after their protest.

She said…

“It’s a trip with Thai Smile where no one can smile.”

The AOT tried to clarify the issue yesterday, January 3. They said that shuttle buses from Thai Smile Airways were late to pick up passengers from two flights: Chiang Rai-Bangkok which arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10.25pm and Khon Kaen-Bangkok which arrived at 10.40pm.

The delay was because of the lack of shuttle bus drivers and shuttle buses. The AOT added that Thai Airways was warned not to let the issue happen again.

The airline agreed to hire more staff and acquire more shuttle buses for better service.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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