Fly540 flights: BY WINSTON MURIUKI: I booked a two way ticket to and from Juba with Fly540, travelling on 8th and returning on 14th December 2019. However, on 14th of December, our flight was meant to depart at 11:30am but it was delayed with over 6 hours.
Eventually, when the plane came we took off but in less than 10 minutes, the pilot announced that the plane had a technical problem and had to turn back to Juba. That was the most traumatizing moment in my life. Passengers panicked and prayed that it would land safely. Thanks to God, we landed and 40 minutes later at around 6:30pm, the flight was cancelled and we were booked in at a hotel with promises to be picked the following morning on 15th Dec. Shock on us, on the 15th, the Juba fly540 representatives were nowhere to be seen and their phones were off.
The hotel management asked to us to check out since they were also as stranded as we were without any communication on whether to continue staying at the hotel or not. We waited for over an hr at the hotel lobby frantically calling any Fly540 contact numbers.
Eventually, a contact person in Fly540 Nairobi office informed us that the flight had been cancelled because the technical problem hadn’t been resolved and the plane could not fly in that condition. The scheduled flight that day was also cancelled and they informed us that the next flight would be on Tuesday 18th Dec.
They forgot we had commitments for the week and it was not viable staying in Juba for another 3 days. They also said they can’t book us on alternative flights and the only option was either to stay at the hotel till Tuesday or find our own arrangements to travel back to NBO. That was so unfortunate and inhuman coming from fly540. Anyhow, those who could, sought alternative means, I being among them. The cost for the available KQ flight to Nrb was USD790. It would only be fair for fly540 to refund for that cost since I incurred it due to their inconveniences.
I then tried to seek a refund from them through one Emma Wangari, a manager in customer service, in vain. She once said that she was waiting for approvals from the airlines CEO. Several days later, she stopped picking my calls as well as my emails. Anyone planning to use that airline, please know that you are doing it at your own risk.
There was a similar complain on Facebook of the same plane that took off from NBO but turned back midair in Dec 2019 week 1. It’s as if fly540 is waiting for a disaster to happen for them to maintain their planes better before flying. Be warned.