Friday, October 22, 2010

Air Malawi: Mr. failure's other name

Last week Wednesday, I received a Short Text Message on my phone from someone I do nort know. He or she simply wrote: I HAVE NEWS. PLEASE CALL ME. I AM ON HOLIDAY, AND HAVE NO UNITS. THANK YOU.
Naturally, I did not call the individual because I never call unidentified people back.
Two hours later, the person called- it was a lady. Shye said she had finally managed to buy some units.
The lady, Martha Kalimbuka, was disappointed with Air Malawi. It was basically about the treatment the Air Malawi crew and management accorded them.
The story goes thus: Kalimbuka had gone to Mzuzu some two days earlier (on Monday) to pick her sick mother down to Blantyre, where she hopes the mum would benefit from advanced medical help.
She, and 20 other people, bought tickets for a trip that would take them direct from Mzuzu to Blantyre. It is not flying that fascinated them; they wanted to be there on time.
They were in for a surprise.
At Lilongwe International Airport (KIA) in the Capital City, all the people on board Air Malawi were told to disembark because some visitors from the United Kingdom had booked their plane in advance.
The passengers, including Kalimbuka and her sick mum, were told that another 'bird' would be sent to ferry them.
This is unfair and, as expected, did not please the passengers.
But they were still chased from the plane that was supposed to be theirs.
What's more? They had to wait at KIA for 11 solid hours before the other plane was finally dispatched.
This is inhumane and unfair.
If the Air Malawi guys and guyesses knew that the plane was pre-booked, why ferry people from Mzuzu- people whose destination was Blantyre; a Blantyre they fully paid for- and dump them in Lilongwe?
This behavour is counter-productive.
No wonder, then, that the United Nations system in Malawi banned their staff from travelling on Air Malawi. Though the UN-Country Office later clarified on the issue, they were just kidding.
As we know, the United Nations can sometimes be as useless as Air Malawi.
Lastly, let me thank all the people who call, or text, me whenever there is something strange, new, and worth-knowing.
I have now changed my policy; I will be answering to every request for a call.
Thank you very much for all the information. And everything.

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