By Gifty Arthur
Passengers who boarded domestic airline, Starbow, owned by Anthony Sauod from Accra to Kumasi to transact business and honour family gatherings, such as funerals, were last Saturday left stranded in the Ashanti Regional capital, through no fault of theirs.
Some of the passengers, who called into The Herald’s offices by phone last Saturday night, expressed disgust about the treatment meted out to them by the domestic airline.
The flight, was supposed to leave the Kumasi metropolis at exactly 5:10pm and arrive in Accra by 6:10pm, but this did not happen. Officials of the airline in Accra, could also not be reached, as they have all put their phones off. The office telephones were also not answered, and no hotel arrangements were also made for the passengers.
According to one passenger, who gave his name as Sellasie Agbemabiase, over 60 passengers were stranded at the Kumasi Airport.
He said some of the passengers, who had pressing issues to attend to in Accra and could afford to pay extra money, had to pay officials of Starbow, to have a different flight arranged for them. Some of them were traveling abroad, and were going to miss their international flights.
Though, Mr. Agbemabiase, could not tell how much these passengers had to pay before they were allowed aboard Antrak Airline, another local airline to Accra, whiles those of them who could not afford the fare were left unattended to.
All calls to managers of the airline proved futile, as most of them had put off their phones, whiles those who had their phones on refused to pick up. He told this paper that he suspects the managers knew of the challenges way ahead, but failed to tell them on time.
He said, a request from the stranded passengers to the managers to look for hotel accommodation for them was disallowed, as the operators will not agree to that. Some of them even spoke to them rudely.
This reporter could hear a heated confrontation between officials of the airline and some of the passengers in the background at the time some of them were busily talking to this reporter.
Some of the passengers, later had to check into expensive hotels in Kumasi to pass the night.
This was not the first time the airline is dishing out such poor service to its passengers as on June 15, this year, some passengers of the airline, who were supposed to be airlifted from Tamale to Accra, were left in a similar circumstance without explanation.
The passengers later threatened legal action against the local airline.