KLM has offered to give its passengers who were denied their flight due to overbooking, €600 each as compensation.
The passengers, totaling sixteen (16), couldn’t embark on the scheduled flight from Accra to Amsterdam on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
Citi News’ Caleb Kudah earlier reported that the stranded passengers were given GH¢50 as compensation upon their failure to join the flight.
But the Country Manager for AirFrance KLM, Dick Van Nieuwenhuyzen has explained to Citi Business News that the said amount is to cater for the transportation of the affected passengers, back home.
“All passengers have been informed that they will get tonight, a denied boarding compensation of 600 Euros irrespective of the preferred airspace…they got 50 cedis transport allowance,” he explained.
Reacting to concerns of possibly averting the occurrence in the first place, Mr. Nieuwenhuyzen described as a normal practice to overbook so as not to fly empty aircrafts.
“What is normal practice and not specific to KLM is that airlines are always overbooking their flights because there are ‘no-show passengers’. For example we have had thirty-five passengers booked but not showing up so what normally is being done is to overbook the flight otherwise you will leave with empty seats. And most of these things if they go correctly, then you could accept all passengers but once in a while, you get more passengers than seats available and that is a normal practice in the airline industry,” he stated.
Stranded passengers lament meager compensation
The frustrated passengers some of whom had deadlines to meet expressed their frustration to Citi News.
One of them exclaimed, “They overbooked the flight so we are stuck here. We’ve been standing here close to three hours. They said their online system went down. All of a sudden they were doing only online people. They had closed the boarding gate before telling us.”
Another who was leaving Ghana for school in London said she will certainly not be able to make it to her lectures on Monday.
“Some people have to go back to school the following day and nobody is telling us anything. If I leave on Sunday, I will get there on Monday so I can’t make it for class obviously,” she added.
Flight rescheduled to Sunday
Meanwhile KLM has told Citi Business News it has rescheduled the flight for passengers who were denied on Saturday night due to the overbooking of its Accra –Amsterdam flight, to 6pm on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
According to the Country Manager, thirteen (13) of the affected passengers left for their homes while the accommodation for the remaining three (3) was taken care of by the company.