The passengers of a Beijing-Warsaw flight will not forget that journey with LOT Polish Airlines. As reported by passengers, not only did they wait for 10 hours before their flight LO92 could depart, they were also asked money to repair a pump on the plane, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner registered SP-LRH. The carrier initially denied the story, but already in Warsaw, a member of the LOT management board gave the passengers their money back.
After the arrival to Warsaw, a group of passengers who in Beijing paid the fee for the missing part of the Dreamliner was asked to stay at the airport. Maciej Wilk, a member of the LOT operational management board, met them.
“I know that today you have met an absolutely unusual, exceptional situation, for which I would like to apologize very much. Please believe me or not, but in fact there was a situation that a warehouse employee in Beijing refused to accept any other form of payment than cash and hence the entire confusion resulted,” said Wilk to the astonished passengers.
“Mr. Krzysztof, our representative in Beijing took quite … an unusual decision,” he continued. “Nevertheless, I am grateful to him that he managed to make the plane fly back to Warsaw. All this should not have happened, so thank you very much for that. I am sorry for the whole situation”.
Immediately afterwards, Wilk returned the borrowed amounts to the group of passengers (in total, it was just over PLN 1,300) and handed out “small gifts”, i.e. tickets for the next flight.
When asked by one of the passengers, or LOT, the “normal situation”, Wilk definitely answered that “this situation is not normal, our representative was prepared to make a transfer, to pay by credit card“.
Passengers who had flights to other cities in Poland on Monday were provided with hotel rooms for the night.
What happened in Beijing?
The Dreamliner crew noticed the problem just after landing at the airport in China during the review. Hydraulic fluid leaked. It was necessary to replace one of the hydraulic.
The repair lasted about 10 hours, the time to find the problem, take care of the parts, look for the engineer and just replace the pump.
LOT has agreements for the maintenance of aircraft at all airports where it lands. Theoretically also in Beijing, where the service is provided by a Chinese company. In the light of these assurances, the confusion that arose at the airport is surprising. The most bizarre was when Mr. Krzysztof, the LOT representative in Beijing, asked passengers who had cash, Chinese yuan, because he had to pay mechanics. The reason? According to a witness’s account, there was a problem with sending money from LOT’s accounts.
Mr. Krzysztof managed to collect about 2,500 Chinese yuan from passengers, which is just over PLN 1,300 (EUR 300). After 10 hours, the plane was repaired and flew out of Beijing at 13:00 Polish time (UTC+1). It arrived in Warsaw at about 22:00 on Monday instead of 11:40. Passengers could apply for compensation of EUR 600 under European Regulation EU261/2004.
Source: Newsweek Polska