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24 March 2023


Business Insider Bangladesh

Umrah pilgrims vent anger over flydubai’s passenger mishandling

Ainul Haque Royal || BusinessInsider

Published: 16:30, 2 February 2023   Update: 19:04, 2 February 2023
Umrah pilgrims vent anger over flydubai’s passenger mishandling

An aircraft of flydubai. Photo: Collected

Umrah pilgrims and their relatives have vented their anger over the service quality of flydubai, a Dubai-based low-cost airline.

Despite being an international airline, the service quality of the airline is worse than that of ‘local buses,’ according to the aggrieved passengers and their relatives.

There have been such complaints against the company for a long time but the airline authorities did not pay heed to improving the service quality.

The allegation came true as the passengers of a flight of the airlines from Dhaka via Dubai to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia were harassed in many ways on Tuesday.

A flight of the flydubai Airline took 38 hours to reach Jeddah on that day, said several passengers of the flight.

Flight number FZ-502/FZ-829 of the airline departed Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) to the Dubai International Airport in the UAE around 12 noon on Tuesday. However, the departure time of the flight was changed within a span of 12 hours.

There were around 50 Umrah pilgrims on the flight and all of them had to reach the HSIA within 6am on the day defying all adverse situations.

Usually, the airline uses Dubai airport as a transit route and from Dubai, the passengers are flown to Saudi Arabia by a separate flight.

But it is a grave concern as the connecting flight left for Jeddah leaving 13 of its passengers at the Dubai airport. They were left behind at the Dubai airport due to a mistake in their boarding passes. As a result, the 13 Umrah pilgrims had to wait 24 hours at the airport.

The mistake has been made by some officials of the airlines at HSIA, according to a passenger.

Despite the disruption in the flight schedule for 24 hours, the authorities concerned of the airlines did not extend any kind of help to the 13 Umrah pilgrims.

Usually, if an incident occurs due to such a mistake, the passengers are informed earlier and all sorts of essential facilities are ensured during the transit by the respective airlines.

But, flydubai did not arrange accommodation, food and drink for the 13 passengers at the Dubai airport which pushed the 13 elderly passengers, having comorbidities including diabetics, to a miserable condition for at least 24 hours.

While talking to the correspondent, M Moniruzzaman, a relative of one of the pilgrims, flydubai airline lacks professionalism.

If such a problem arises, the respective airlines are responsible to arrange all necessary facilities including accommodation and food for the passengers but the flydubai authorities ignored the responsibility, he said.

The authorities of the airline have changed the flight schedule just before 12 hours of its departure which is not acceptable at all, said Moniruzzaman.

“My sister and brother-in-law among the 13 pilgrims reached Jeddah around 38 hours after leaving the Dhaka airport. They had to pass through a miserable time during the entire journey,” he said.

Usually, international airlines have their own offices at the local level but there is no office of flydubai airline in Dhaka.

No relatives of the passengers could make communications with the authorities of the airline except the ticket issuing agency, he said.

While talking to the correspondent, Sirajul Islam Mukul, assistant sales manager of the airline in Dhaka, said they came to know the matter on Wednesday afternoon and took a prompt step to resolve the problem.

Nuruzzaman Tamim, also a relative of two of the 13 Umrah pilgrims, shared his same story of sufferings during the 38-hour journey from Dhaka to Jeddah.

“The authorities of the airline have exposed their extreme level of irresponsibility and such service from an international airline is not acceptable at all,” he said.

Such an incident of negligence is considered a sheer violation of the terms and conditions of the flight operation system and the airline concerned has to count penalties, according to experts in the sector.

Goodwill is a key capital for an airline company and it is tough to regain the image if it loses its reputation, they said.

Taking the matter into consideration, the flydubai could have shown its professional and responsible behaviour with the hajj pilgrims, noted the experts.

Nagad