Twenty eight Filipino passengers of Saudi Arabian Airlines with confirmed seats bound for Manila, a number of them with families and children, were bumped out of their flight Thursday and are now stranded for three days here in Dammam.
Some are billeted in a local hotel at the expense of the airline, while those who are residents in Dammam and Al- Khobar were told to return back to their residences.
Some were told to wait for announcement until seats are available, while others were advised to report Saturday evening at the King Fahd International Airport just in case seats will be available.
The passengers were confirmed to take flight SV 720 last Thursday, but were told at the last hour that there are no more seats available. The passengers said they have confirmed tickets with assigned seats and had booked since early March.
“It was a big disappointment for us because Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national carrier, is supposed to be one of the best airlines in the world,” an irate mother who is traveling with her children told Saudi Gazette. “It appears that Saudi Airlines is overbooking their passengers, a very inefficient way of serving their customers,” she said.
She said a female passenger who had emergency commitment in Manila begged the airline crew to be accommodated and paid extra SR2,000 in order for her to be upgraded to the business class.
Many of the passengers are working in far off regions of the Eastern Province, like Al-Khafji and Jubail. All of them are going home for their annual leave. “The three days’ delay is a minus to our one month leave, which could have been spent with our families,” an engineer working in Jubail said. Agencies