It happens only in India

2-hour Air India flight delayed by 14 hours!

DELHI

For some of the passengers who boarded an Air India flight from Kolkata on Sunday evening, the journey to their destination, New Delhi, took 14 hours instead of just two.

At 5:30 pm on Sunday, 236 passengers boarded flight AI 701, among them were Abdul Basit, High Commissioner of Pakistan, and CPM lawmaker Sitaram Yechuri. After taxing to the runway, the pilot detected a technical snag and brought the plane back to the terminal, reports NDTV.

As engineers tried to fix the problem, few passengers – some say 50 – deboarded around 8:30 pm to catch a different flight out.

National aviation carrier Air India on Monday responded on the 14-hour delay of Kolkata-New Delhi AI 701 by blaming the delay on a technical glitch in the first aircraft. Air India issued a statement on Monday claiming that it provided hotel accommodation to stranded passengers, adding that they were accommodated in another flight on Monday morning, reports The Financial Express.

However, passengers onboard AI 701 confirmed to IBNLive that no hotel accommodation was provided by the airline. In fact, the passengers were not even deplaned till 10 pm on Sunday, even as the scheduled departure of the flight was 5.30 pm

All the passengers were deplaned at 10 pm and were transported to the terminal where there was no Air India official to attend them. Agitated passengers protested for two hours against the apathy of the airlines.

Air India 701 finally landed in Delhi at 8:55 am on Monday morning, close to 14 hours after its scheduled arrival.

However, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, who was also aboard the flight, was shifted onto a different plane and flew to Delhi along with 50 other passengers on Sunday evening itself.

In video footage shot by passengers and shared with NDTV, angry exchanges can be seen with airlines staff. “We don’t want any excuse, just get the flight off the ground,” some people say.

Passengers tweeted out their horror stories. “Latest from @airindiain 701: flying 6:45 am – after 13 hrs spent on 2 diff aircraft with 2 diff boarding passes & a lot of lies,” said one. “6 hrs of being inside AI 701, my 5m (baby) is on the floor as AI is clueless,” said another, reports NDTV.

The flight left around 6:30 this morning, but not before Yechuri, who boarded the flight in the morning, was heckled by passengers who claimed the flight had been delayed to accommodate him and that he had been kept in a hotel by Air India.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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