Flight delay drama leaves bad taste

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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The passengers were woken and ejected from the Customs area by security around 5am.

The passengers were woken and ejected from the Customs area by security around 5am.

A run-in with the security officials at the Faleolo International Airport has ruined the vacation for the Roberts family, who had otherwise fallen in love with Samoa during their two weeks stay. 

This is according to, Emma Roberts, who described the experience during an interview with the Sunday Samoan as  “horrific.” 

Mrs. Roberts and her family were scheduled to depart on the Virgin Australia Friday night.

 “We were supposed to leave Samoa 14 hours ago but the flights were delayed due to bad weather,” she said.  

 “I was one of over a hundred passengers who were kicked out of Faleolo Airport terminal in the early hours of this morning (Saturday) after cancelled flights led to confusion between airport security and Virgin Australia Samoa staff."

 “The passengers were woken and ejected from the Customs area by security around 5am." 

 “This came following concerns when some passengers were allowed to take their cases through into the security area in the early hours of the morning without getting cleared.” 

Mrs. Roberts pointed out the communication breakdown between the airline and security saw both sides blaming each other while the passengers - including dozens of small children - were left outside in the arrival hall.

 “In one instance, a frantic mother was left arguing with security staff who would not let her go through to her children in the Customs area."

“By contrast, passengers on a cancelled Fiji Airways flight were taken by shuttle to accommodation arranged by their airline."

 “By 7.30am many passengers had been waiting at the airport for over 12 hours, when they were finally being let back through,” said Mrs. Roberts. 

She said their luggage were left in the rain overnight and she was separated from her children and was not allowed in the area by the security officials. 

 “It’s been quite a horrific situation,” she said. 

“It’s such a shame that for two weeks we spent here we have fallen in love with the country and we absolutely adore Samoa, but to leave on such a sour note is just difficult to cope with.”

Efforts to get comments from the Airline and the Samoa Airports Authority were unsuccessful yesterday.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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