Details are still sketchy at this point, but it’s been established that an issue with the landing gear forced the crew into a very difficult decision. The plane wheel failed to retract, and completing the journey proved to be too risky.
Passengers were informed of the ‘air scare’ before they touched down again, but in spite of the faulty landing gear, the pilot managed to get the aircraft down safely. However, the ordeal didn’t end there for those onboard.
A series of delays – and a customer support service that allegedly leaves a lot to be desired – meant that those initially set for a 9:00 flight had to wait until GONE 18:00 for the next available seats.
The WORST our 9am flight today to Johannesburg took a U-turn 30 mins in the air flight back to East London . We just got in the aircraft now to Johannesburg and no compensation or meal vouchers after being at the Airport for more than 9 hours .@British_Airways https://t.co/moaRFP2mn6
— IG: LeesaMashalaba (@LEESAMASH19) February 20, 2022
Indeed, the issues continued to pile-up once the malfunctioning plane was back on the ground. Thabiso Tema, a passenger who experienced both the ‘nerve-wracking landing’ and the questionable response from the airline, shared his grievances on Twitter – needless to say, this wasn’t an ideal way to spend a Sunday:
“After nearly being off-loaded for ‘being late’, our flight from East London to Joburg had to turn back because of an issue with the landing gear. You can imagine how nerve-wracking the landing was…”
“[We were informed] about twenty minutes in to the flight. Turns out the landing gear wouldn’t go up. There’s no spare aircraft available and the next available flight is at 18:00. But wait there’s more…there are only 34 seats open on that one!”
Thabiso Tema, British Airways passenger
- Mandle Mgebeja, also onboard, told EWN about the chaotic situation
“When we landed, they told us to stay on, and they wanted to check what the problem was. Then they found out the problem couldn’t be fixed at the moment and that we needed to get out of the plane. How come they didn’t inspect the plane before it departed.”
Mandla Mqebeja, British Airways passenger
The South AfricanShare on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn