JOHANNESBURG - Football fans who missed the
World Cup semi-final between Germany and Spain due to flights
chaos in Durban will be partially compensated, airports
officials said on Friday.
Hundreds of football fans missed the match between the two
European football giants on Wednesday after chaos at the airport
in the coastal city delayed their landing or forced planes to
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) said bad weather,
larger than expected traffic and VIP planes which refused to
move from the airport - as had been agreed in advance - caused
the chaos at the new Durban King Shaka International airport.
Some 600 passengers missed the match after six planes were
forced to either return to Johannesburg or Cape Town, or divert
to other airports.
ACSA Chief Executive Monhla Hlahla officially apologised for
the airport disarray, a rare blemish on the so far successful
hosting of the World Cup, held on the continent for the first
time, which has gone without any major glitches.
"We have decided that we will put aside a small amount of
money to the tune of 400,000 rand ($52,850) to compensate
(passengers)," she told Talk Radio 702.
This might not be enough to compensate many fans. Some said
they spent up to 30,000 rand on flights and match tickets.
Stranded passengers, who spent thousands of rand on flight
and match tickets, were outraged by the mismanagement that led
to the problems.
A German fan was due to appear on court on Friday for
allegedly assaulting a cabin crew member after realising that he
would miss the much anticipated match after his plane was
diverted to Port Elizabeth, officials said.
"He behaved in a violent manner towards a crew member and
will appear in court today," said Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for
the National Prosecuting Authority.
ACSA said it would ensure there would be no repeat of the
problems during the World Cup final at Soccer City in
Johannesburg on Sunday when Netherlands face Spain.
If aircrafts refuse to move, the company threatened to tow
them out of the way to clear the landing and airport space.
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