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70 offloaded passengers fend for themselves

india Updated: Jan 10, 2010 23:20 IST
Ashok Das & Soubhik Mitra
Ashok Das & Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
Spicejet flight

Passengers on a Spicejet flight from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai had to disembark at Hyderabad on Saturday night because the airline terminated its journey due to “a technical snag in the plane”.

A Spicejet spokesperson said the Hyderabad-Mumbai leg of the flight was cancelled due to technical reasons.

The flight took off from Visakhapatnam with 150 passengers. Of those, 80 were scheduled to get off at Hyderabad.

There was trouble in store for the remaining 70, who had to fend for themselves as the airline washed its hands of the matter and refunded the fare for the Hyderabad-Mumbai leg of the journey.

Problems for the passengers started when they arrived at Visakhapatnam airport to take the 7 pm flight on Saturday.

Sumit, a passenger who goes by one name only, said that after issuing them boarding passes, the airline staff informed passengers that the flight would not take off because the “duty hours of the pilot were over”.

When the passengers protested, the airline agreed to operate the flight. The plane reached Hyderabad around midnight.

Then the passengers bound for Mumbai were told that there was a technical snag in the aircraft and therefore the Hyderabad-Mumbai leg was cancelled.

“No one from the airline was willing to help. We had to spend the night at Hyderabad airport. I had to get a ticket in another airline and reached Mumbai late on Sunday afternoon,” said passenger Praveen Kumar.

Another passenger said he missed the connecting flight to Sharjah (in the United Arab Emirates), where he was to report for an assignment.

Molestations alleged
Two cases of molestation on flights were reported in Mumbai on Sunday, taking the tally to three in less than a week.

Bruno D’Souza (56) was arrested in the wee hours of Sunday for allegedly molesting a Jet Airways airhostess on a flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai. Later in the day, Air India diverted a Dubai-Calicut flight to the city airport to offload a passenger for allegedly misbehaving with a woman co-traveller.

While D’Souza was let off on bail against a deposit of Rs 5,000 after he spent the night in the Sahar police lock-up, the other flier whose identity could not be ascertained was allowed to go because the victim did not file a complaint with the
police.

The spokespersons of the respective airlines said the alleged offenders were drunk.

(With PTI inputs)