Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Korean Air disappoints me

I went to Korea on Dec. 1, 2002 by Korean Air and planned to go home on Dec. 12. Although I had made a reservation in October for my fight back to Jakarta on Dec. 12 through KIA Travel, the agency put me on a waiting list and I was notified of OK status for travel on Dec. 17.

On Dec. 10, I got important news from Jakarta asking me to return to Jakarta on Dec. 12. I called Korean Air, asking about the possibility of OK status for the Dec. 12 flight. However, they informed me that the plane was fully booked and I was told to go to the Korean Air standby passenger counter at the airport. I asked about the meaning of the term "waiting list" on my ticket and why I should go and stand in line again. They said that it was not valid.

On the morning of Dec. 12, around 9 a.m., I went to see them and was told that I was number 10 on the waiting list. I was told to return at 12:10 p.m. At 10:30 a.m. I was already at their counter. To my surprise, on that day 39 were people were on the waiting list. When the clock struck 12:20 p.m. they called out the names of some passengers on the list and an employee told me I did not have a seat. I asked them to try again for me. At 12:30 p.m. five passengers canceled their flight, but they refused to give a seat to me, arguing that I had too much luggage. A long argument followed and I insisted on getting a seat. Finally they gave in. I hurried with my heavy luggage to the immigration desk and the plane.

On board, I met two Indonesian migrant workers who told me they had been detained by the Korean immigration office on Dec. 5. It was bizarre for me to discover that they had still got seats. I had made my reservation long before their detention, but had been put an a waiting list.

I have written a letter to KIA travel and Korean Air, but have received no response so far.

CARLA JUNE NATAN, Center for Indonesian Migrant Workers, Jakarta