SAMOA TRAVELLERS WANT POLYNESIAN AIRLINES TO PAY UP FOR PILOT ERROR

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 5, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Travellers between the two Samoas are on Polynesian Airlines' back over flight cancellations, delays, spoiled food and other inconveniences during the busy Christmas week travel period.

Passengers are unhappy that the airline is blaming the weather for flight cancellations and 24 hour delays when they say pilot error was responsible for the grounding of Polynesian's second Twin Otter aircraft during the busy travel period.

The airline does not have to compensate travellers for flight cancellations and delays caused by the weather. But several passengers have complained that Polynesian is getting away from paying food vouchers, taxi fares and even hotel accommodations for stranded passengers by blaming the delays on the weather when human error was responsible.

The Polynesian Twin Otter aircraft lost a few propeller blades when a pilot operating test flights for his captain's license accidentally rammed the side of the terminal building at Fagali Airport.

The accident left Polynesian with one Twin Otter to service the Apia-to-Pago Pago route, which was already a day behind schedule because of weather-related flight cancellations the Sunday before Christmas.

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