Due to mechanical problems, an EVA Air flight from Komatsu Airport in Japan to Taoyuan was delayed overnight on April 29, and more than 200 passengers were sent to a hotel.
However, due to miscommunication between ground and flight crew, as well as the language barrier, some passengers ended up at the wrong hotel, Apple Daily reported.
One passenger said that free shuttle service was provided from the airport to the hotel. He and three friends were divided into two taxis because they had too much luggage. However, when the man arrived at APA Hotel, his friends were not there. He used LINE to contact the friends and Google Maps to re-route them to the hotel.
When the friends as well as six other passengers went to check in, the hotel staff said that they had no record of EVA making arrangements for passengers for the night. Fortunately, the travelers spotted an EVA flight attendant staying at the same hotel and requested assistance.
The flight attendant apologized and said that she couldn’t help because she was not ground crew. The EVA ground crew is responsible for handling such arrangements for passengers and flight crew is rarely informed on such matters.
The passengers asked again, saying, “But we do not know which hotel is correct, can we help us?” The flight attendant repeated, “I’m sorry, but I’m flight crew, not ground crew.” And then she walked away.
The passengers then managed to find two Japanese flight attendants and attempted to communicate with them. Despite the language problems, the flight attendants attempted to help but were unsuccessful in contacting anyone at EVA with knowledge of the situation. The Japanese staff reportedly only speak Japanese and English.
APA Hotel staff called local hotels to find which one had the reservation for the EVA passengers as well as arrange taxi service to the correct Grandia Hotel. The passengers didn’t arrive at the correct hotel until after 11 pm.
EVA apologized for the problem, noting that flight crew do not know the details for accommodations for delayed passengers and that there was a miscommunication in this situation. The airline said that it will seek to improve its service for all passengers in the future.
Fortunately, no one was forcibly removed from their flight or physically harmed.