Thirty-four travelers headed to Osaka, Japan, yesterday morning were unable to board their flight because of errors at the check-in counters.
The passengers were scheduled to board a flight by Singapore-based budget airline Jetstar Asia at 7am at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, but they missed the plane because of delays at the check-in counters of China Airlines (CAL), which acts as an agent for Jetstar in Taiwan.
CAL attributed the delays to an overwhelming number of outbound passengers for the holiday and to errors in Jetstar’s check-in system.
The delays enraged some of the travelers, many of whom had made plans to meet family members in Osaka for the traditional nian yei fan (年夜飯), a family reunion banquet held on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
A family surnamed Hsu (徐) said they were supposed to join relatives from the US and China in Osaka last night. They bought their tickets in September last year. However, the flight took off before they had finished checking in, they said.
A Greater Kaohsiung family with 13 members said they had made their flight reservations in November last year and left Kaohsiung at 2am yesterday to make it to Taoyuan in time for their flight.
Other passengers said they had asked China Airlines ground staff when they could check in, but were first told that Jetstar had overbooked the flight and then later were told there was an error in the check-in system.
CAL said it had asked Jetstar to postpone the flight’s departure time, but the airline said the flight had to take off because of flight attendants’ work hour restrictions. CAL treated the delayed passengers to meals and helped them transfer to other flights to Osaka.
Meanwhile, those driving on freeways had a smoother time yesterday. National Freeway Bureau statistics showed that about 500,000 motor vehicles hit the freeways during the toll-free hours between 12am and 7am, which broke previous records.
Except for some sections in central Taiwan, where the driving speed was below 40kph, the freeway traffic was smooth overall, the bureau said.