Diverted flight mayhem (2)
I am the grandmother of the two unaccompanied minors who were on flight KM103 which was diverted to Paris. My husband and I duly went to meet the flight at Luqa expecting to collect our two grandchildren arriving from Heathrow. On the arrivals board it stated that there was a delay of some 40 minutes, so I sent my daughter an SMS to let her know as obviously she wanted me to tell her when they had arrived.
The flight was due to land at 00.40 and was on the board as arriving at 01.20 so we were not too concerned about the delay. It was not until about 01.45 that the board was showing the diverted to Orly information.
I went to information to ask what was happening and they could tell me nothing whatsoever. Fortunately we knew someone who was employed at the airport and he offered to go and see what he could find out for us, but all he was told was the flight had been diverted and they would not be arriving until the following day.
I then went back to the information desk to ask them what was I supposed to tell my daughter, as by now she was going frantic. At first they still couldn't find out anything, but then managed to contact someone in France who said that all the passengers were going to be put up in hotels, which is what happened.
In France the children were assigned a French ground hostess to look after them, which was fine until the next morning when, at the airport, she kept going off asking a very kind English family to keep an eye on the children. The point is they were unaccompanied minors and we had paid extra for their fares for them to be looked after at all times by one of the cabin crew, not for the hostess to leave them with other travellers when she went off to do whatever she was doing.
I think Air Malta should get their act together, as by the time we left the airport it was around 4 a.m. This shows how long it took for us to learn what was happening. If this were to ever happen again to some other young children, I would hate to think that another family would have to go through the same trauma as we all did.
I do have one positive comment to add, and that is to mention that the attention and help given to us by an Air Malta employee, Josepha Micallef, was exemplary. She really went out of her way to help us, ringing France twice and eventually enabling us to speak to our grandchildren. Also the two girls on the information desk gave us as much information as they had to hand at the time and were constantly ringing their representative in France for any information, so thank you to all three of them.