One of the things I learned at an early age was than when you are in a hole, stop digging. Or troubles never come alone. Mango could do well to learn this. After last weeks rant about the credit card folly at boarding time, they surpassed themselves by again having a major delay in getting their wheels of the ground.
I experienced a 4.5 hour delay on Monday – JE242 King Shaka to ORT. This is a 100% failure rate with punctuality on the five Mango flights I have taken since the beginning of June.
It also highlights issues not restricted by any means to Mango – a complete failure to communicate and a complete abrogation of responsibility. Their policy seems to be that of mushroom farming – keep everyone in the dark and infrequently cover them with manure.
Mango flights had been delayed on Sunday, and it was clear that this would have the usual knock-on effect on Monday’s flights – so why no SMS advising of the revised departure time?
I arrived, collected my boarding pass from the self service kiosk. It still showed the original boarding time. I only noticed the delay after security when I checked the display to find my boarding gate. That was the first and only indication I had that the flight was delayed.
Other passengers I talked to were issued with boarding passes in the normal manner – no notification that there was a flight delay. I understand that passengers with international flight connections were quietly manoeuvred onto other carriers, and perhaps some local travellers were lucky. But again, the bulk of the passengers were kept in ignorance.
As a further example, it was only when I approached the Mango check-in desk for information that I was issued with a meal voucher.
When the relief plane arrived the communications failures continued. The flight departure boards were changed to show a departure time of 13.10 but again there was no general announcement. As a result of the poor boarding announcements there was a further delay while the airport was combed for missing passengers.
Boarding was hurried and there seemed to be little co-ordination between air and ground staff in ensuring that all checked-in passengers had boarded.
I boarded the plane to find that the seat I had pre-booked was already occupied. Apparently, the flight was now “free seated” – no announcement, and I guess no refund for the fee I had paid for pre-booking the seat.
I don’t expect any meaningful reply, and that this note will be completely ignored.