Passengers had a harrowing time on Tuesday as Air India staffers went on a flash strike to protest delay in payment of salaries resulting cancellations and delay in flights.
Many passengers complained they were not informed about the cancellation or delay in departure by the airline.
"We were not informed about the cancellation and I got to know about it only when I reached the airport," said Sanjay Sharma, a passenger.
Another passenger, Subhav Verma claimed that he had telephoned the airline asking them whether there was any change in the schedule.
"I called before I started for the airport. They said everything was as per schedule. But reaching the airport, I came to know that my flight was cancelled," he said.
A passenger Vijay Sangli said he has to reach Udaipur to attend a wedding. "There is still no news on what time I will be able to reach there," he said.
An Air India spokesperson claimed that the airline offered full refund to passengers whose flights were cancelled while those in transit due to delays were given hotel accommodation and local transport.
Air India's operations were severely affected today with at least 16 flights, including five international services, being cancelled as over 16,000 staffers went on the flash strike.
Several other flights were delayed, many of them by over an hour, as the strike from 1230 hours spread in major metro cities with employees walking out of their offices and organising demonstrations to press for their demands.
Air India had last week decided to delay the May salaries by a week.
The international flights cancelled were those from Delhi to Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai (two flights) and one from Amritsar to London, Air India officials said.
Domestic services from Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai were also affected. Among the flights delayed was one from Coimbatore to Chennai, which flew in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi after a two-hour delay.