One third of flight off be­fore board­ing

The Western Star - - News - ELLEN RANSLEY

A MISSED bian­nual state con­fer­ence, in­ter­na­tional travel plans ru­ined and hav­ing to can­cel last-minute a spe­cial­ist ap­point­ment.

That was the re­al­ity many up­set pas­sen­gers faced on Fri­day morn­ing as they were told they would not be able to board their flight from Roma to Bris­bane.

Only three flights op­er­ate east­bound most week­days, with many pas­sen­gers plan­ning weeks or months in ad­vance to en­sure they are able to get to the state’s cap­i­tal with­out a hitch.

Janne Larsen booked her flights three weeks ago.

As the direc­tor of An­der­sens Roma, she was to at­tend a state con­fer­ence with her hus­band which be­gan on Satur­day morn­ing.

Her flight was due to ar­rive at 12.35pm Fri­day, with plenty of time to get down the coast be­fore­hand, and re­group with her hus­band who had rid­den the dis­tance on his mo­tor­cy­cle.

“The most im­por­tant meet­ing of the con­fer­ence starts at 8.30am. I now won’t be get­ting on a flight out of Roma un­til 11.35am,” she said on Fri­day.

“By the time I get to the coast, it won’t be un­til 3pm, I will have missed the meet­ing.”

This morn­ing, she re­ceived a no­ti­fi­ca­tion from Qan­tas that her flight had been de­layed un­til 12.10pm. En route to the air­port, that was pushed back fur­ther un­til 12.55pm.

“When I went to check in, I was asked if I had a con­nect­ing flight. I didn’t and then she said some peo­ple wouldn’t be able to go on the flight,” she said.

“She said Qan­tas said they weren’t send­ing the plane needed for the 74 pas­sen­gers, they were send­ing a smaller plane which could only seat 50.”

Although Mrs Larsen said lshe was not angry, she could un­der­stand why many pas­sen­gers were up­set.

“Qan­tas said they will pay for meal vouch­ers and a night in a ho­tel, but I live here. We don’t need that, I just need to get down there,” she said.

“They should be send­ing a sec­ond plane. If it was any­body else they would have to make good for what they were do­ing. We only have lim­ited flights, we rely on them. Peo­ple book them to go to con­certs and spe­cial­ist ap­point­ments and meet­ings.”

Qan­tas was con­tacted for com­ment, but has not re­sponded.

Pic­ture: Blainey Wood­ham

NO ROOM: Qan­tas pas­sen­gers were left fu­ri­ous on Fri­day af­ter they were told there weren’t enough seats for them on a Bris­bane based flight from Roma Air­port.

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