'Harrowing' time for AI passengers with five flights delayed

At least five Air India flights were delayed by several hours at the Indira Gandhi International airport here on Sunday due to technical problems, causing hardships to about a thousand passengers.

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'Harrowing' time for AI passengers with five flights delayed


NEW DELHI: There was anger, frustration and helplessness among nearly a thousand passengers of five Air India flights, which were delayed for hours at the Indira Gandhi International airport here due to technical problems, as the authorities "failed" to provide them relief despite repeated pleas.
The passengers of Amritsar-Delhi-Birmingham-Toronto, Delhi-Abu Dhabi-Muscat, Delhi-Bangkok-Shanghai, Delhi-London- New York and Delhi-Dubai flights had a harrowing time since Saturday without food, water and sleep following hours of delay with Air India officials "hiding" to avoid passengers' fury.

"I have been here since last evening. I still don't know when my flight to Dubai will leave, it is almost 24 hours." Md Aftab, a Lucknow resident, told.

He said the most frustrating part of his "long and bad experience" was that no Air India official was available to give the passengers a correct picture of the situation.
While the Dubai flight is delayed by nearly 24 hours, the Amritsar-Delhi-Birmingham-Toronto flight departed after about 12 hours.
The Delhi-Bangkok-Shanghai has left after five hours delay while Delhi-London-New York is expected to leave later in the day, airport sources said, as the crew was requested to extend their 'flight duty time limitation' and operate the aircraft.

"I have decided not to fly again with Air India. They follow no rule, no regulations and have no standards. They offered no food, water and accommodation, a must for any air carrier to give to passengers in case of delay," A H Singh, a London resident, said.

However, an Air India spokesperson told that five flights, which were delayed, have now taken off and an inquiry has been ordered to find out the reasons for the delay and responsibility will be fixed.

He said the delay was between two to six hours.

Singh said his five-member family has now decided to fly with another international airlines following the "harrowing" experience.

When some passengers, angry over the long delay, protested and wanted explanations, no senior Air India official came forward to pacify them.
"Only some very junior officials are present in the airport who has no information and authority," Jagdish Sharma, another passenger, said.

Even the Air India Assistance booth, located at the departure lounge of the international airport, was totally deserted.

Qumar Ahmed, an advocate in Delhi's Patiala court, who came to see off his Dubai-bound father-in-law, said that the passengers of the flight were asked to deboard the plane minutes before take off.
"There is total chaos in the airport. There is nobody to look after the passengers, nobody is concerned. It is a shame that our national carrier is functioning in such a pathetic condition," he said.

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