Lost in transit
CNN may have its Heroes of the Year, but Man About Town nominates its own heroes of the week. Our hero is Laotian Pollen Phengprom, managing director of Pollen Law Consulting and Investment Co Ltd. And the heroine is Ly Sei Hary, ticketing manager of Angkor Amazing Holiday & Tours.
Both were passengers on the scheduled 4pm Cambodian Angkor Air flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on Sunday.
The flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems and the enraged passengers felt they were lost in transit because no meaningful information was provided. But lies flew thick and fast. One ridiculous story was that Hun Sen, who had earlier flown in from New York, had commandeered the plane.
But our dashing duo sprang into action, using connections to ease the plight of passengers.
Laotian lawyer Pollen Phengprom, who had previously worked in the Laotian Prime Minister’s office, obviously had high-level contacts, and was quick to use a cell phone as a weapon of urgent assistance.
Ly Sei Hary had previously worked for the airline and knew after-hours details.
They effectively managed rescue operations, resulting in a woman from the airline arriving to sort out the mess. She ’fessed up that the stranded plane wasn’t going anywhere that night and emergency accommodation was provided at the faded New York Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Passengers were ferried back to the airport at 5.30am on Monday, but again the plane didn’t board on time, and again the passengers had no clue if they were ever going to fly anywhere except off the handle.
Again, Laos saved the day. Pollen Phengprom contacted someone from the airline and instructed them to immediately contact airport staff to make an announcement about progress.
Within five minutes an announcement boomed through the airport that the flight to Siem Reap was delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft from Ho Chi Minh City. Finally, just after 8am, the flight was airborne with passengers voting the duo as the heroes of the encounter with officials.