JEJU, Jan.27 (Korea Bizwire) – Passengers were held ‘hostage’ at the Jeju airport as low-cost airlines were failing in efficiently boarding passengers on their flights. The lines in front of the low-cost airline counters were not getting any shorter.
The chaos was created when low-cost airlines gave out waiting number tickets to the passengers randomly without considering the order of cancelation.
As passengers flooded in to get on a quicker flight, the airport became a crowded mess.
According to the airport officials, the number of passengers staying at the airport reached 10,000 people, which is 1,700 more people than the day the runway was closed.
The reason low-cost airlines handed out waiting number tickers was because they did not have a ‘text message system’ to manage disasters.
If there is a text message system, passengers are automatically registered on extra flights in the order which the flight was canceled, and the results are sent to passengers via text message.
Through the system, passengers do not have to wait long hours at the airport, and board the extra flight booked for them. Large domestic airlines have the system, but the low-cost airlines did not adopt the system to cut costs.
Not only the lack of system but also the low-cost airlines’ pursuit of a quick fix caused chaos in the airport.
A lot of manpower and procedures are needed to reschedule earlier flights to those who waited first at the airport, but giving out waiting tickets ‘first come, first served’, there is no need for the extra efforts.
Airport officials point out that the low-cost airlines selected the easiest way for them, because the process is so complicated without the text message system.
But another problem was that the airlines also failed in operating the method they thought was easiest for them.
Even if a passenger got a waiting ticket, if they do not hear their number being called, the flight goes to the next person waiting and the passenger that didn’t hear his/her number being called had to go to the very back of the line.
Kim(33), a passenger waiting, expressed his fury on the matter. “The airport is so crowded and noisy. Me and my wife are taking turns standing near the counter to hear the flight attendant call out our number. This is so unreasonable and frustrating.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)