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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

UAE residents stranded in Manila following flight delays

Passengers are still waiting for rescheduled flights after Philippines capital hit by heavy rain

UAE residents are among hundreds of passengers left in limbo after delays at Manila airport.

Travel plans were thrown into chaos after a Chinese passenger jet skidded off the runway on Friday during torrential rain in the Philippine capital.

The incident resulted in extensive delays across all airlines at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Passengers bound for Abu Dhabi were still waiting for news of their flights 48 hours after they were due to take off.

“We have been left hanging on for days,” said Lab Pelobello, 24. “The flight was due to leave at 6.50pm on Friday but we were told it had been cancelled.”

Ms Pelobello spent a sleepless night at the airport trying to find out when her flight would be rescheduled.

“We were queuing up for three hours to get to the counter, only for it to close before we could speak to anyone,” she said.

Ms Pelobello said she had to catch a connecting flight to Bahrain from Abu Dhabi.

“I asked if we could be put up at a hotel and we were told all the hotels were booked out,” she said.

“When I asked if we could pay for a hotel ourselves and claim the money back, we were told it would not be possible.”

Hundreds of passengers have been left in limbo after flights were hit by lengthy delays at Manila Airport.
Hundreds of passengers have been left in limbo after flights were hit by lengthy delays at Manila airport

On Saturday night she and her fellow travellers were given rooms in Manila’s B Hotel.

“I am really worried because I know when we land in the UAE it will probably be the Eid holiday and connecting flights will be even harder to find,” she said.

It was not just passengers flying to the UAE who were affected by the turmoil at the airport.

Liz Cookman, assistant national editor at The National, was among a group of friends who had bought tickets with Filipino airline Cebu Pacific to fly to Manila, from Dubai, on Friday. The flights were rescheduled to August 21.

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Read more:

Flight delays at Manila airport after plane skids off the runway

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“I only received an email 18 hours ago to say that had been cancelled as well,” Ms Cookman said. “We have had no news or support on what will happen. The online link only offers a refund for the way out. “There were loads of people unable to fly and you have no say in when your rescheduled flight is.”

An Etihad spokesman said the main runway had reopened.

“However, flights to and from Manila are still subject to delay, and the airport remains heavily congested as a result of the recent closure,” he said.

“Etihad Airways is assisting guests booked on these flights with their travel arrangements. We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused, and we remain committed to offering the highest level of service to our guests.”

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