Stickman Readers' Submissions March 6th, 2006

Royal Brunei, No Thanks

Having lived and worked in Bangkok for only a short 6 months now, I must say that this site is a huge credit to you.

I can only say that being a Perth, Australia boy originally the choice of flights to and from there is not very good from Bangkok.

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The best and usually cheapest option is Royal Brunei Airways, but cheap…is definitely what you get. On my last trip to Perth the trip left Bangkok on time 0750 Monday morning and everything seemed to be ok, until drinks service. No ice aboard the plane,
machine broken, and all the fridges were suffering also, so warm drinks only, Bangkok warm; just love that for your coke!!!

The headset on my seat worked, so that was at least well than the poor guy and his family behind me, who had nothing. The movie was really good and getting into it, when about an hour and a half in, and I guess close to the end, it stops and starts from
the beginning all over again…..Great….

On arrival in Brunei we all get off, and the screen with the connecting flight shows us as delayed. I proceed to ask at the “information” desk, and they tell me that it must just be wrong on the screen and we should be away on time. Well
that time comes and goes, no announcements notice etc. I then join the now 40 people at the info counter and they can't tell us anything.

The station manager now comes down and tells us all that there will be a slight delay, and we should be away in about another hour or so. So we all sit and wait, plane delays happen, we ALL know that. Another hour passes, and still nothing, someone goes and asks, to be told the station manager has gone home for the day???? But they will find out when we are leaving, and it should be soon.

Eventually, about 3 hours now, someone sees one of the flight attendants from our flight and asks them if they know anything.

She advises that the engineers have grounded the plane for mechanical reasons, and did so as soon as we had arrived, 3 hours prior to now. She tells us that she thinks we might have a bit of a wait.

So someone goes back to the “info” station to find out about it, and they still can not tell us anything, but will ring and get some help for us. She does and then advises us all that we need to stay until 9pm for another plane to be arranged.
That is still 8 hours away, so we are all very upset by this, but what can we do.

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At 4pm, 5hours after arriving, and very frantic lady comes in, and tells us that we are all supposed to have been sent to a hotel hours ago as Royal Brunei can not get us out tonight. She arranges the entire luggage to be cleared, and packs us all onto
a bus and we go off to a hotel.

Now this hotel is not exactly what you would call a HOTEL, it is so budget, that even the info about the hotel in the rooms tells you it is “the low cost, budget alternative”.

The hotel can not tell us anything, the airline has now closed, business hours, and the airport know nothing… here we all are sitting in a hotel in Brunei, no idea when we will be leaving, and no one able to tell us ANYTHING!!!!

Most of us just go to bed, no TV in the rooms!!! At breakfast in the morning, just a bowl of noodles, budget as I said, and the hotel lady tells us that we should pack and bring our gear down, as the airport rang to say they think Royal Brunei have arranges
a charter for 2pm.

The lady from the day before, turns out she owns the buses, arrives and checks us all and we head back to the airport. When we arrive NO one from Royal Brunei is around, and the information counter is still closed. After many of us calling Royal Brunei
in Australia and in Bangkok, finally the station manager from the day before comes over, and advises that “we have ‘specially' arranged a plane to get you home, at our expense, and I hope this will make you all happier”
and walks off….

One of the other passengers, who is on his way to a wedding THAT night, just about chases him, and we all fear where this is headed. The station manager just walks back into an office and closes the door, and all the knocking that we all try, no answer.

Finally at about 9.30am we hear an announcement that our flight will leave in 30 minutes and can we all please board the plane….The plane is a NON-Royal Brunei plane, and the remainder of the trip home was very pleasant…..

On our return home, everyone swapped emails and we all send nasty reports to the Perth office of the treatment and lack of information provide. The Perth office has been fantastic in dealing with this, and yet Brunei office simply sent us all a very short
note to say “Sorry for the inconvenience, it was a matter out of our hands”. That's it, nothing else.

My tip is everyone…..try and get the cheaper deal with Thai airways, or even take the indirect flights through Singapore or KL with Singapore Airlines or Malaysian…Do not run the risk of travelling with a company that fails to be able to provide information
to their guests. What else do they fail to do??? Check to make sure their planes can fly ok?

I know we will never run the risk, and I urge all who read this, to think carefully about how you spend your flight dollars.

Stickman's thoughts:

That sounds like an absolute nightmare.

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