Saturday continued with the week’s unrelenting fog, giving passengers at the IGI Airport a harrowing time.
While dense fog delayed flights in the morning, congestion and backlog delayed evening flights. “My 7.40 pm IndiGo flight to Kolkata was rescheduled to 9.50 pm due to congestion,” said Ajeeta Singh, a Delhi resident. “The terminal was brimming with stranded passengers and there wasn’t no place to sit.”
About 200 passengers of a Delhi-Ahmedabad SpiceJet flight spent a sleepless night for about six hours inside the aircraft on Friday after it was delayed and then cancelled on Saturday.
Though outstation passengers were offered hotel accommodations, the rest ‘chose to stay on board’.
The flight couldn’t take off due to poor visibility. A special flight to Ahmedabad was arranged on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, more than 200 passengers of a Cathay Pacific flight (CX 708) to Bangkok faced a similar ten-hour ordeal after they were forced to sit in the aircraft. The passengers alleged that the cabin crew didn’t even allow them to come outside.
“We boarded the aircraft at 4 am but the plane didn’t take off due to poor visibility. We kept waiting for some announcement but the airline officials were clueless. Then they told us that the crew members haven’t come,” said Mahendra, a passenger. “We could see other planes taking off. Most of us missed our connecting flights and when we asked the staff to de-board us they shut the door,” he said.
Sources said that first the plane couldn’t take off due to poor visibility and then it had to come refuel. By the time visibility improved, the crew members’ duty hours had got over. The aircraft finally took off at 2:20 pm.