GEORGE TOWN: More than 200 people, mostly holidaymakers, missed their flights after arriving late at the Penang International Airport because the Penang Bridge was closed for the annual marathon.
Many cancelled their holiday plans and some had to buy exorbitantly-priced last-minute flight tickets to make it to their destinations.
The Star’s offices in Penang were swamped with calls from unhappy passengers who missed their flights, many arguing that they left for the airport early to avoid the heavy traffic.
Businessman Sunny Lim, 40, from Nibong Tebal said he left home at 7am to catch his 9.55am flight to Kuching but at 9.30am, he was still on the ferry.
“I wanted to take the bridge but turned back when I saw the traffic jam. I then headed towards the ferry terminal and had to wait for more than two hours before boarding the ferry.
“I had no choice but to buy a RM700 ticket to Kuala Lumpur and take an adjoining flight from there to Kuching as there were no more direct flights from Penang to my destination,” he said when met at the airport.
Mechanic Adib Jalaluddin, 21, was disappointed as he and his family had to cancel their holiday to Kuching as they arrived too late to check in for their 9.55am flight.
A check with Malaysia Airports Bhd showed that about 200 passengers had slept overnight at the airport as they were afraid of missing their flights.
State Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said the state government would look into coming up with more pro-active measures next year to prevent this from happening again.
“We had actually informed the people about the Penang International Bridge Marathon 2010 months before the actual event on our website, through the media and signs on the bridge,” he said.
The Penang Bridge was closed to traffic between 1am and 10am in conjunction with the marathon which involved more than 24,000 participants.
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