HONOLULU, Hawaii (The Adobo Chronicles) – In what is being described as unprecedented in the history of commercial aviation, a scheduled Philippine Air Lines (PAL) flight bound from Honolulu to Manila left with a full crew but not a single passenger.
PR 101 was scheduled to take off at 11:10 a.m. on Monday from Honolulu International Airport. The Airbus A330 left after a 30-minute delay without a single paying passenger.
What puzzled airline officials and crew was that the original manifest showed a fully-booked flight.
When it was time for boarding, ground crew started noticing that no one was checking in at the gate. Despite repeated announcements over the public address system that passengers needed to board the flight, not a single one did. The plane finally departed at 11:40 a.m. with only the crew on board.
The Adobo Chronicles caught up with many of the passengers who were holding boarding tickets to PR 101, many of them with their bags and balikbayan boxes in tow.
They said they decided not to board their flight for fear that they might be victimized by the reported laglag bala scheme at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The scheme involves bullets being ‘planted’ into the bags of unsuspecting passengers for the purpose of extortion by the perpetrators.
The passengers said they will re-schedule their trip only after they have been assured by Philippine government officials that the laglag bala scheme has been fully nipped in the bud.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that airline passengers going through NAIA have to wrap their bags and luggage in plastic just so they do not to fall prey to these unscrupulous schemers,” one Filipino long-time Hawaii resident said.