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Passengers of MV ‘Otuanga’ofa stranded in Nuku’alofa for overbooking of tickets


Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/06/2017


A lot of would be passengers on the MV ‘Otuanga’ofa last night returned home sadly and were very dissatisfied with the services of the Friendly Islands Shipping Agency FISA who overbooked  their sea  passages to Vava’u.


Last evening the vessel left with around one hundred passengers remaining at the wharf, waiting for another chance.


Speaking to Radio Tonga News at the wharf some passengers said, they’ve waited since morning and no warning was given to them.


But during loading of passengers the gate was closed and an announcement was made that only 400 passengers will travel while more than 100 remained at the wharf.


Some passengers had to return home, some walked to hitch a ride and some were told to remain behind so that they can travel on the MV Niuvakai.


But to their surprise Niuvakai only took onboard 12 passengers while others had to return home around midnight.


The angry passengers used profane words to the staff of FISA resulting in the office calling for help from Police.


Most passengers are travelling to the Free Wesleyan Church’s annual conference, others travel to attend the Heilala festival and celebration of His Majesty’s birthday and the rest for personal reasons.


MV.’Otuanga’ofa will again travel to Vava’u on Monday but has already been booked by the Free Wesleyan Church for the transportation of its conference members, therefore it is unknown whether the stranded passengers from last night will have a chance to travel.


Contacts have been made to the Friendly Island Shipping Agency for comments on the issue but they say the CEO – Mosese Fakatou is on leave and the Managers of the company are at a meeting.       


© Radio and Television Tonga News