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Dateline change causes confusion for passengers

reporters@samoanews.com

The Samoa international dateline change last month — wherein the nation of Samoa moved to the other side of the dateline — has caused confusion for some of Polynesian Airlines passengers, according to the airline’s local station manager Toe Loia.

Speaking with Samoa News, Loia said the first three days the company had to reshuffle some of the flights because the passengers were confused.

He said Samoa is one day and an hour ahead of American Samoa, and it’s not a problem for the staff — but it’s a different story for the public.

“Leaving American Samoa was not a problem, however when they return, that’s where the confusion is. Now it’s mandatory for staff members to print itineraries for customers and explain everything the passenger needs to know”, said Loia.

He added that Polynesian Airlines has accepted excuses from passengers for the first several days since the dateline changed, when a passenger missed the day they were supposed to travel. However it’s been two weeks since the change occurred and the traveling public appears to be aware of it now, he said.

“It’s just a matter of the travel public getting used to the new changes the Samoa government has in place,” he said, adding that if a passenger wants to leave American Samoa, for instance, on a Friday and return on a Sunday, “we have to ask, ‘American Samoa Sunday or Samoa Sunday?’ so there will be no confusion when they return home.”

The local station manager said if a passenger does not show up for a flight, there is a fee of $50 Samoan Tala (in Samoa) or USD $22 for passengers here.



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