Whitsunday resident Kellie Ashdown was among thousands of other Virgin Blue passengers stranded at Melbourne airport this week.
Whitsunday resident Kellie Ashdown was among thousands of other Virgin Blue passengers stranded at Melbourne airport this week.

Virgin Blue computer crash chaos

THE Virgin Blue computer crash that caused chaos for thousands of passengers this week stretched as far as the Whitsundays but we escaped reasonably unscathed compared to other parts of the country.

While some people could not get to the Whitsundays and those who were due to leave were forced to stay that little bit longer, only one Virgin Blue flight was delayed at Whitsunday Coast airport and one flight was cancelled at Hamilton Island airport.

On Wednesday afternoon Virgin Blue flights due to land at Whitsunday Coast airport were delayed by an hour-and-an-half.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly said the industry did well, given the circumstances.

“We only had the one flight cancelled into Hamilton Island on Sunday, and while there were inconveniences for those trying to travel home, and travel here for a holiday, all reports are that Virgin Blue handled it well and all passengers were accommodated until their flight departed the next day,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that these things happen in the world of travel, but luckily we are not a destination where flights can be cancelled flippantly, compared to the inter-capital routes where frequency makes it easier to implement cancellations.”

Whitsunday resident and avid Collingwood supporter Kellie Ashdown was stuck in Melbourne for four days after the AFL grand final.

Ms Ashdown was due to fly from Melbourne to Proserpine on Monday, via Brisbane.

The flight from Melbourne to Brisbane was cancelled and the first available flight she could be booked on, with a connection to Proserpine, was yesterday.

She was to fly out at 6am but another computer glitch yesterday morning meant every passenger had to be checked in again manually.

Ironically, Kellie works in the tourism industry and understands the impact these types of incidents could have on a major industry.

Despite her frustration and her many hours with little information at the airport in Melbourne, she said the Virgin Blue staff were very helpful and very pleasant.


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