Thousands of passengers inconvenienced by NAIA runway mishap

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 20) — One airplane mishap at the country's main airport has caused chaos for thousands of air passengers all over the country.

Three days after a Xiamen Airlines plane skidded off the international runway of NAIA on August 16, passengers in Manila and regional airports are still suffering the effects on Monday.

Over the course of four days, the flights of thousands of passengers were delayed by long hours or even days. Some of them camped out in the airport, opting to lie down on floors to get a bit of rest during the chaotic time.

The delays and cancellations, of course, led to the disruption of travel plans.

Some passengers also complained of unclear communication from their airlines, saying they were not told the flights were canceled.

An OFW also complained that the airport chaos is an added problem for her working visa.

"Pa-expire na ang visa ko. Ang hirap. Sana paliparin na nila ako bago mag-expire ang visa ko. Yun ang tanging hiling ko," passenger Cherry Tagupa told CNN Philippines on Monday.

The airport chaos is creating a domino effect.

Passenger Kath Alcantara was flown to Hong Kong two days after her scheduled flight to Vancouver. But her problems are adding up.

When she got there via Hong Kong Airlines, she was told that the next available flight out to Vancouver is on August 30.

"Ayaw ng Hong Kong Airlines na malipat kami sa ibang airline. Sinasabi na na-miss namin ang original flight namin kaya sinusubukang ipasok kami sa daily flights as chance passengers," she told CNN Philippines.

She added it has caused her and her father, who was a stroke patient, so much trouble.

"Nagsu-suffer kami ng sobra. Nag-provide sila ng hotel and food noong first night, pero nung second day wala na... Based sa assessment ko, parang niloloko lang kami. Kasi noong simula ang daming kunyaring ginagawang paraan. Ang daming statements na hindi naman pala totoo," she said.

Even government officials were not spared from the chaos.

Senator JV Ejercito shared his "nightmarish" experience at the Davao International Airport on Sunday. He was stuck in the airport overnight and chose to slept in the lounge.

He said NAIA's current intersecting runway should be reconstructed because this does not support two simultaneous landings.

"I would want to push for the massive infrastructure, that includes new airports and the railway system. A single international runway just wouldn't work anymore. By international standards, all international airports have two parallel runways... What would be good for NAIA's problems is to have a twin airport system like in Haneda and Tokyo," he said on Sunday.

Aviation authorities are meeting with Xiamen Airlines officials Monday to discuss the runway incident.

Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 carrying 157 passengers and eight crew slid off NAIA's 6/24 runway while landing amid a downpour on August 16. The plane's nose wheel collapsed while its left engine ripped off as it bounced and veered off the runway.

The incident prompted aviation authorities to close the runway for more than 24 hours. As a result, more than a hundred domestic and international flights were canceled or delayed while some were rerouted to Clark or Cebu airports.

The Senate Committee on Public Service will also look into the incident.