Angry offloaded passenger David Jah Blum writes to PX: ‘Replace Tokua Manager’


Dear Air Niugini,

Please replace or appoint a competent manager to oversee a key port that is not only a gateway but a tourism hub of Papua New Guinea.

Getting off-loaded on a flight from Tokua airport that was supposed travel to Port Moresby  due to technical issues with the plane… It was quite clear the Air Niugini ground crew had either no idea what they were doing or just not prepared to handle an unexpected situation which also includes normal arrivals and departures.

Staff members, which includes the elusive manager,  are too shy or just plain terrified to stand in front of a crowd and talk. There is  plane full of tourists who are on multiple transits eager and impatient for information whilst the ground staff are all hiding behind closed doors talking through a P.A system that sounds as if someone’s in the toilets constipated. It’s a foolproof approach to chasing away tourists and visitors from PNG complimenting all the other negative media PNG gets.

The so called “manager” Jason or whoever, was nowhere to be seen for the whole day and then decides to go home at 4pm whilst all the paying passengers are made to wait indefinitely until they are finally informed at 6pm that the flight is canceled. Even the Air Niugini ground crew when asked seemed confused or surprised that there was a manager.

Off-loaded PNG passengers had to take the initiative and common sense as hosts and guides to usher our expatriate visitors into the departure lounge rather than sit outside Tokua terminal as advised by the Air Niugini ground crew, for 6 hours in tropical heat waiting to be informed their flight is canceled. It got to a point where you couldn’t discern between the staff and passengers.

Technical issues and unexpected delays are inevitable and Air Niugini has contingencies in place. But you need people with the proper driven attitude, the right personality, and most importantly “brains” to ensure every individual remains, calm, comfortable and confident that Air Niugini is doing its best and in full control of the situation at hand. Even if it’s not, no one would notice if they’re being properly pampered.

No one would go up to an Air Niugini counter unless they paid for the service it provides. I’m sure Air Niugini pays its employees to provide that service.


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