Brussels Airlines Dakar-Brussels flight cancelled

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foxtrot_lima_yankee
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Brussels Airlines Dakar-Brussels flight cancelled

Post by foxtrot_lima_yankee »

The article on crash-aerien.com

Dakar (Sénégal) - Un avion de la compagnie aérienne belge Brussels Airlines a provoqué la vive colère de ses passagers lorsque le vol a du être annulé sur l'aéroport international de Dakar (Sénégal) suite à un problème technique qui n'a pu être résolu.

L'avion, un Airbus A330-300, vol SN236, qui effectuait la liaison entre l'aéroport international de Monrovia (Libéria) et l'aéroport international Zaventem de Bruxelles (Belgique) avec plus de 200 passagers à bord, était en escale prévue sur l'aéroport international Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor de Dakar lorsque, vers 21h00, heure locale, une avarie a retardé le vol d'environ 90 minutes. Trois heures plus tard, les passagers ont été avertis que le vol était annulé faute de pouvoir effectuer les réparations.

Voyant la grogne s'installer chez les passagers, les représentants de la compagnie les ont abandonné à leur sort dans l'aéroport en leur conseillant de chercher eux-même un hôtel, la compagnie les remboursant très certainement dès leur arrivée. Brussels Airlines n'a pas encore indiqué ses intentions concernant le transport des passagers bloqués.

Is this their new policy?
I thought something like PAX-rights existed for European carriers....

regi
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Post by regi »

This will leave traces behind on the commercial side.

foxtrot_lima_yankee
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Post by foxtrot_lima_yankee »

Gestrande passagiers Brussels Airlines vliegen vannacht terug

Brussels Airlines laat weten dat de passagiers die sinds gisteravond gestrand zijn in de luchthaven van Dakar nadat hun vlucht werd afgelast, nog vannacht terugvliegen naar Brussel. De Belgische luchtvaartmaatschappij "beseft dat de passagiers niet de service kregen die ze verwachtten", maar zegt dat het onmogelijk was om meer te doen.

Defect
De luchtvaartmaatschappij had gisteren 200 passagiers aan hun lot overgelaten nadat hun vlucht Dakar-Zaventem was afgelast door een technisch defect. Volgens Brussels Airlines gaat het om een probleem aan een beweegbaar onderdeel van een van de vleugels. Door het probleem moest een technisch team vanuit Brussel ter plaatse gaan.

De 200 passagiers hadden vandaag nog geen nieuws gekregen van Brussels Airlines. Velen klaagden over een gebrek aan informatie en waren zelf op zoek gegaan naar een hotel of een andere vlucht naar Brussel.

Waardebon
Brussels Airlines laat weten dat de gestrande passagiers vannacht nog terugvliegen naar Brussel. Het lege vliegtuig vertrekt vanavond uit Lissabon naar Dakar. De luchtvaartmaatschappij heeft besloten om alle passagiers ter compensatie van het ongemak een waardebon van 200 euro tegeven. Ook alle onkosten van de passagiers worden terugbetaald.

Over het gebrek aan informatie zegt de Brussels Airlines dat ze "alle informatie die ze had meteen heeft bekendgemaakt aan het personeel". De luchtvaartmaatschappij laat voorts weten dat ze gezocht heeft naar hotelkamers voor de gestrande passagiers, maar dat dit geen sinecure was omdat het midden in de nacht was, de commerciële dienst van heel wat hotels gesloten was, het paasvakantie is en de nieuwe Senegalese president net de eed heeft afgelegd. "Uiteindelijk hebben we slechts een dertigtal hotelkamers gevonden."

Bijzonder moeilijk
Brussels Airlines besluit dat "omstandigheden buiten onze wil deze opvang bijzonder moeilijk hebben gemaakt: een technisch defect dat urenlange analyse vergt, gebrek aan hotelkamers, zwakke opvangmogelijkheden op de luchthaven van Dakar, visumproblematiek voor bepaalde passagiers, nachtelijk uur waardoor vrijwel de hele luchthaveninfrastructuur gesloten is, prestatiebeperkingen van vliegtuigbemanningen, zoektocht naar wisselstukken, zoektocht naar vervangvliegtuig aan de vooravond van het paasweekeinde."

"We beseffen dat onze passagiers niet de service kregen die ze verwachten, maar waren in de onmogelijkheid om meer te doen," luidt het. (belga/hln)

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JAF-195
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Post by JAF-195 »

This remember me something... 00-TUC?

Scandalous that the Bru. Airlines' staff abandoned the pax. Bad start for this brand new carrier... :(
Fly Belgian!

LX-LGX
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Post by LX-LGX »

.
At this moment, brusselsairport.be says SN1203 from Banjul/Dakar is expected at 10h45 (Friday morning).
.
First passenger reports thus already in the VTM and RTL television news at 13h00...
.

blackbox
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Post by blackbox »

A long haul network with only a few (second hand!) planes, is asking for problems!

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

LX-LGX wrote:.
First passenger reports thus already in the VTM and RTL television news at 13h00...
.
Not very favourable reports from passengers : they had to spend the night in a deserted terminal, with nothing to eat or drink... The local Brussels Airways representative had fled, apparently unable to do anything to help.
I have heard that Brussels Airways will pay 200 euros to each passenger. I have seen no Brussels Airways spokesman on the belgian TV - one can understand there was no volunteer !

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Gate-A1
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Post by Gate-A1 »

blackbox wrote:A long haul network with only a few (second hand!) planes, is asking for problems!
Why second hand aircrafts is an issue for a company? The fleet is not big, that's a fact. But they are not Air France or British airways and will nether have a big long range fleet.

The real issue here is lack of communication.

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

At the 1930 news on RTBF : again seen and heard passengers complaining : left all night without food nor drink... slept on the floor... scandalous....

And what says Brussels Airlines ?
Like at the 1300 news, Brussels Airlines again scornfully refuses to make any comment.
Brussels Airlines will just condescend to hand 200 euros to the passengers (like you throw a bone to a barking dog to silence him ?).

Brussels Airlines should throw out his communication officer, if any, and get a good one.

EBBR_Based
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Post by EBBR_Based »

As usual it is very hard to draw a line between reality and the perception of people.
left all night without food nor drink... slept on the floor... scandalous....
Please give the airline an alternative...
1) middle of the night
2) full hotels due to the political circumstances + Easter holiday
3) most hotels are closed during the night

What would you have done? Do you really think that Brussels Airlines is pissing of 200 passengers on purpose?
The real issue here is lack of communication.
All available information was immediately communicated. The thing is that it often takes some time before you can communicate. Was it possible to announce a solution for the passengers 15 minutes after the cancellation? Was it, seen the rarity of the technical problem, possible to explain why the aircraft was grounded? ... The answer is a definite no.
The local Brussels Airways representative had fled, apparently unable to do anything to help.
In how many parts can you split yourself up? Give the man a break: he needs to assist the passengers, look for solutions,... at a certain point, you just HAVE to go back to your office to work on solutions. Passengers may see this as "running away", but this is far from the reality.
I have seen no Brussels Airways spokesman on the belgian TV - one can understand there was no volunteer !
First of all the spokesman must be available! Secondly, I heard the Brussels Airlines' spokesman on the radio and read his comments in the press. He gave a perfect update on the situation, and explained what really happened and why they were unable to do more for the passengers. Guess what the press prefers: sensation or some hard facts from somebody who knows this business very well.
I thought something like PAX-rights existed for European carriers....
Brussels Airlines did even more than the pax rights for European passengers: each passenger gets a 200 EUR voucher. According to the rules you refer to, they shouldn't have given anything at all as a last-minute technical problem is still "force majeur".

Regards,
EBBR_Based

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

EBBR_Based wrote:
most hotels are closed during the night

First of all the spokesman must be available!

Brussels Airlines did even more than the pax rights for European passengers: each passenger gets a 200 EUR voucher. According to the rules you refer to, they shouldn't have given anything at all as a last-minute technical problem is still "force majeur".

Regards,
EBBR_Based
I can see that the good old spirit of "l'aviation de papa" is still a reality : the customer is always wrong and is firmly requested to shut up !

To a few outstanding affirmations above :
- pray note that most hotels are open 24/24 - and don't close at night;
- in such emergencies, a company spokesman must be available - is he on Easter holiday, perhaps until next week ? It will be too late by then...
- the passengers shoudn't have received any compensation indeed ! they should perhaps be grateful not to have to pay for the replacement aircraft ?

LJ
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Post by LJ »

Please give the airline an alternative...
1) middle of the night
2) full hotels due to the political circumstances + Easter holiday
3) most hotels are closed during the night

What would you have done? Do you really think that Brussels Airlines is pissing of 200 passengers on purpose?
The airline has no alternative than to do damage control. This doesn't mean let the passengers without any representation of the airline. The result of this situation is a) angry pax and b) bad press.
First of all the spokesman must be available! Secondly, I heard the Brussels Airlines' spokesman on the radio and read his comments in the press. He gave a perfect update on the situation, and explained what really happened and why they were unable to do more for the passengers. Guess what the press prefers: sensation or some hard facts from somebody who knows this business very well.
My manager once said...it's not the truth which counts....it's the perception one has about you which counts. Thus whether or not the spokesperson is available or not is irrelevant, as long as the company is perceived as doing something, damage can be minimised. Moreover, I hope the airline has spokespeople available 24 hours a day 7 days a week....or do they just have one person representing the airline?
In how many parts can you split yourself up? Give the man a break: he needs to assist the passengers, look for solutions,... at a certain point, you just HAVE to go back to your office to work on solutions. Passengers may see this as "running away", but this is far from the reality.
This may be true, but isn't well perceived by those demanding a solution. I agree it's a dilemma where you can do not much good, but now the news is out that you better not get stranded flying Brussels Airlines. Moreover if i was a PR person at Ryanair (or any other low cost airline) I would save these news clippings and next time Brussels Airlines attacks Ryanair on its low service just remind Brussels Airlines about what they did in Senegal. Yes it's cheap, but then who cares.......

The only bright side may be that this is an isolated case and probably won't have much impact. However, if it happens again one will refer to this case again....thus any such an incident is an incident too much

foxtrot_lima_yankee
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Post by foxtrot_lima_yankee »

COMPENSATION: OVERBOOKING AND CANCELLATIONS

Length of journey Delay to destination Compensation
Up to 1,500km More than 2 hours 250 euros (£173)
1,500-3,500km Up to 3 hours 200 euros (£138)
1,500-3,500km More than 3 hours 400 euros (£277)
More than 3,500km More than 4 hours 600 euros (£415)


Source: Air Transport Users' Council

A voucher of 200€ is not the right compensation+
PAX rights declare that in case of cancellation, whatever the reason, the airline is in charge of finding food, drinks transportation and accomodation for the PAX.
Also a solution needs to be found to bring the pax to their destination.

So the nominal services have not been given, which has to bring the compensation up. What good is a voucher of 200€?
They should offer at least 600€ CASH according to the above grid.

sn-remember
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Post by sn-remember »

Very bad indeed.

Each flight should have its own dedicated procedure in case of delay.
Very surprising this incapacity to manage the incident.

Reminds me of the A333 passengers blocked in Kigali last year and I have reminiscences of similar pax mismanagement in Douala in the past.

So it seems this is not the 1st time it happens.
How can you build a reputation with such nonsense ?

I remember long ago being lodged in one of the nicest hotels in Athens all taken in charge by Sabena also for delay reasons.
Same happened to me in Rome on a AZ flight but the hotel was far less good.
Other times ...

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lumumba
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Post by lumumba »

Hi everybody.
In my company we fly very often to Africa but not with Brussels Airlines anymore because we had 3 cancellations in one year.(2 FIH 1 Kigali)
Now where are flying with A.F and we had ONE delay in one year and six months.
Regards
Patrice
Hasta la victoria siempre.

Darjeeling
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Post by Darjeeling »

:evil: :evil: a lot of amateurism in that company. a lot. not too surprised to see that confidence is totally broken between the management and its employees and soon their clients. it's time for the new CEO to kick the a** of some oportunists occupying the so called executive "slots". :arrow: :arrow: more than time !!!!!!

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744rules
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Post by 744rules »

Darjeeling wrote::evil: :evil: a lot of amateurism in that company. a lot. not too surprised to see that confidence is totally broken between the management and its employees and soon their clients. it's time for the new CEO to kick the a** of some oportunists occupying the so called executive "slots". :arrow: :arrow: more than time !!!!!!
This sounds like soccer. If a team wins, it's the players contribution. If they loose, the trainer gets kicked out.
motorcycling : sensation with a twist of the wrist

EBBR_Based
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Post by EBBR_Based »

- pray note that most hotels are open 24/24 - and don't close at night;
There is a difference between having security staff present and having a staffed reception desk at 2am.
- in such emergencies, a company spokesman must be available - is he on Easter holiday, perhaps until next week ? It will be too late by then...
The spokesman was available. In fact, I heard him live on the radio (!!)
- the passengers shoudn't have received any compensation indeed ! they should perhaps be grateful not to have to pay for the replacement aircraft ?
In normal circumstances, the passengers shouldn't have received the 200 EUR voucher indeed. The replacement aircraft has nothing to do with this. The 200 EUR voucher is a nice gesture, together with the fact that ALL other costs will be covered by the airline.
The airline has no alternative than to do damage control. This doesn't mean let the passengers without any representation of the airline. The result of this situation is a) angry pax and b) bad press.
It is not because the local representative went to his office for a short time that there were no other representatives present.
My manager once said...it's not the truth which counts....it's the perception one has about you which counts.
Exactly, and just like the previous time that Jetairfly's B763 went technical (with the rabbit in the engine), the press is once again giving a very sensational and one-sided view on everything what happened.
The only bright side may be that this is an isolated case and probably won't have much impact.
Nobody knows when the next cancellation will be... the regularity of SN longhaul operations is actually very good, the problem is that the airline always has to cancel the flight whenever there is an A330 on the ground. Furthermore, it is not because an A333 is on the ground that the aircraft has technical problems. Think about birdstrikes, damage by ground equipment,...
COMPENSATION: OVERBOOKING AND CANCELLATIONS
So the nominal services have not been given, which has to bring the compensation up. What good is a voucher of 200€?
They should offer at least 600€ CASH according to the above grid.
The above grid is not valid in case of force majeur.
Each flight should have its own dedicated procedure in case of delay. Very surprising this incapacity to manage the incident.
This is totally untrue. Every airline has procedures for situation like this, and I'm sure that a lot of SN-staff in Brussels didn't get too much sleep anymore once the flight was cancelled.
Reminds me of the A333 passengers blocked in Kigali last year and I have reminiscences of similar pax mismanagement in Douala in the past.
For any other cancellations I remember, a solution was found by either putting the passengers in a hotel or by sourcing a replacement aircraft.
So it seems this is not the 1st time it happens.
Affirm, and it won't be the last time either.
In my company we fly very often to Africa but not with Brussels Airlines anymore because we had 3 cancellations in one year.(2 FIH 1 Kigali)
Now where are flying with A.F and we had ONE delay in one year and six months.
I'm sorry to hear that! Anyway, I'm confident that, once the 4th aircraft is operational, SN's network will see a positive evolution on both the number of flights to Africa (= more possibilities to rebook your passengers) and also the reduced number of stops (for example BRU-DKR-BJL).
a lot of amateurism in that company. a lot. not too surprised to see that confidence is totally broken between the management and its employees and soon their clients. it's time for the new CEO to kick the a** of some oportunists occupying the so called executive "slots". more than time !!!!!!


This sounds more like emotion than anything based on facts.

Anyway, for me this case is closed. Sh*t happens, and the only thing you can do as an airline is limit the damage as much as possible. I'm confident that SN, although they didn't really succeed this time due to the lack of alternatives, did their utmost to limit the impact on the passengers.
Last edited by EBBR_Based on 28 Apr 2007, 19:43, edited 2 times in total.

foxtrot_lima_yankee
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Post by foxtrot_lima_yankee »

Sorry EBBR-based but they have the right to claim the 600€ full in cash on top of the ticket refund/rebooking.
That is as pax flying into a EU-zone on an EU carrier, so EU pax rights apply since April 2005.

And having someone of Brussels Airlines saying anything on the radio live would be no use and non-sense.
At least they should have gathered the remained staff and delivered some meals, drinks and covers while looking for the hotels or replacement aircraft.

By the way EBBR-based, hotels are open 24 hours a day.
If only security staff is present, he ll make a pleasure to waken the manager, when it is about filling an empty hotel.
They would be more than happy to welcome stranded pax.
Having worked in airport hotels I know that airlines hate to put pax in hotels though.
Imagine one room in Dakar costs 30€, which is cheap.
You need 200 rooms because you can t put pax together.
That costs you 6000€ in total...

I understand Brussels Airlines but it was their chance to show that they want to be a prestigious company. Instead they messed up and showed they are no better than a LCC.

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

EBBR_Based wrote:
Brussels Airlines did even more than the pax rights for European passengers: each passenger gets a 200 EUR voucher. According to the rules you refer to, they shouldn't have given anything at all as a last-minute technical problem is still "force majeur".
And they dare look down on Ryanair !

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