Freeways run smoothly; some stranded as airline staff run into problem
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Traffic on Chinese New Year's Eve was mostly uneventful, but 34 Japan-bound passengers missed their flight after a glitch at China Airlines' check-in desks at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday, a local newspaper reported.
February 10, 2013, 12:32 am TWN
The passengers arrived early at the airport for their 7 a.m. Jetstar Asia Airways flight to Osaka, only to find that they could not check in at the CAL counters that were supposed to serve them on behalf of the Singapore-based airline, the Apple Daily said.
According to the newspaper, CAL first claimed that the Jetstar flight was overbooked, but later admitted that their staff was not familiar with the system, and had caused a computer glitch.
The plane left without the fuming passengers, although CAL promised to fly them to Japan on another flight in the afternoon.
The Taiwanese passengers were heading to Osaka for family reunions, the paper said. Some of them arrived at the airport as early as 4 a.m. in order to catch the plane.
The paper also reported that another 180 passengers heading for the Philippines were stranded at the airport because of maintenance work on their plane.
Meanwhile, traffic along the island's main arteries was mostly smooth, thanks to a policy allowing motorists to travel toll-free in the early hours, transport officials said.
A record of more than 500,000 vehicles used the freeways during the toll-free hours between midnight and 7 a.m., compared to the 450,000 to 490,000 usually seen during the same period in previous years, the officials said.
Motorists could mostly drive at normal speeds on the freeways in the morning after the toll-free hours, except at certain sections, such as from Daya to Taichung on National Freeway No. 1, and Hemei to Changhua on National Freeway No. 3. Speeds on the two sections were lower than 40 km per hour, the officials added.
The toll-free policy will run daily until Feb. 17, from midnight to 7 a.m., the officials said.