Air India's Delhi-Incheon flight delay angers flyers
Passengers of a Delhi-Incheon Air India flight were left high and dry due to a massive delay in operations because of frequent technical snags on Sunday. The flight scheduled to depart at 11.05 pm on Saturday from Delhi's IGI International Airport (Terminal 3) was delayed by almost 16 hours.
It finally took off for Seoul at 4 pm on Sunday.
Many passengers had to cancel tickets and go home. One such passenger, a senior Central government official, said, "I was supposed to go to South Korea to attend a meet. The flight (AI 310) was scheduled to depart for Incheon via Hong Kong on Saturday at 11.05 pm. After we boarded the aircraft, the pilot announced that there is a minor technical snag and they are expecting a delay of 30 minutes."
"At 1.15 am, they announced that the aircraft has been grounded and we have to shift to another aircraft," he said.
"After a protracted process of going through the transfer gate, we finally boarded the other aircraft around 2.15 am. Around 3 am, the pilots left the aircraft as their duty time or some statutory time of continuous duty time was over. The crew desperately tried to contact different quarters for help, but there was no response," he said.
Finally, the Air India management announced at 5 pm on Saturday that the flight would leave at 1.00 pm on Sunday and offered passengers accommodation in some hotels.
"I was travelling with two of my colleagues and decided to return home. We have suffered more as there was not an easy process to get the immigration clearance cancelled," the passenger said.
"When we reached the airport on Sunday, there was lot of confusion and we were finally issued fresh boarding passes around 11.30 am. Since then we have waited for couple of more hours in the lounge and then it was announced that the flight will leave at 3.15 pm," he said. Due to the long delay, passengers at the airport protested against Air India. Most of the Air India staff who were dealing with highly agitated passengers were under a lot of pressure. Some of them were helplessly pleading to bring the issue to the notice of their higher-ups.
"The flight was delayed due to a technical issue in the plane. All the passengers were provided hotel accommodation. The flight took off at 4 pm on Sunday," said Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar.