There were more than a hundred passengers, who were stranded in the Abu Dhabi International Airport for almost 19 hours. The flight, which was scheduled for 12.20am on Friday, finally took off at 4.50pm.
An Air India Express official told that it was ‘a very rare situation’ due to a ‘progressive engineering delay’. “There was an engineering issue and we couldn’t solve it as easily as expected,” he said.
Passengers said that they were informed about ‘some delay due to technical reasons’ only at the time of the boarding. “In the beginning, they said the flight would be taking off soon and we had to wait. However, later they announced the flight would be delayed further and those who wanted could avail of hotel accommodation. We were checked in at a hotel by 5.30am,” said an affected passenger.
Some of the passengers opted for a refund while a few others returned home after an assurance from the airline officials that they would be informed about the flight timing and reimbursement of taxi fare.
However, the struggle of the passengers was nowhere near an end. Just after a two-hour rest at the hotel, they were asked to report back by 8 am at the airport.
Some passengers, who opted to go home and return upon information from the AIE, complained they were not informed about the flight schedule. “We had collected the number of some co-passengers and they informed us in the morning that they are checking out from the hotel. If we had waited for any information from the airline, we would have missed the flight,” a passenger said.
“The airline is also concerned about the struggle the passengers went through. We provided all possible ways to assist the passengers at the airport. They were given food, snacks and accommodation. However, we cannot compromise on the safety of passengers,” P.G. Prageesh, chief of corporate communications at the Air India Express said, adding that any complaints from passengers would be looked into.
Source Credit: Khaleej Times