Air India’s Sunday evening flight from Kolkata to Delhi reached the capital on Monday morning, after a delay of more than 12 hours. The aircraft was grounded in Kolkata after the pilot suspected and reported a technical snag.
The Dreamliner aircraft was scheduled to leave from Kolkata around 5.45 pm but was pushed back for taxiing at 6.15pm. Then the pilot of the aircraft suspected and reported a snag while taxiing towards the runway, following which the aircraft came back to the parking bay.
As many as 238 passengers were on board, including Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit. According to an Air India spokesperson, Basit, along with 39 other passengers, were shifted to another Air India Delhi bound flight and flown back on Sunday night. That flight operated as per schedule, the spokesperson added.
The other passengers who landed in Delhi complained that the national carrier did not take care of them on Sunday and that they were constantly told engineers were working on a technical snag. Until 9 pm, they were told to be seated inside the flight till engineers figured out what went wrong. After that the passengers were asked to deplane, and then told that the flight was cancelled
Passengers were also angry that special treatment was meted out to VIPs while they were stranded, with children, women and the elderly in discomfort. They also said that on Monday morning, when the flight was ready to fly to Delhi, Air India officials gave special treatment to CPI leader Sitaram Yechuri.
An Air India spokesperson said the airline took care of its passengers but passengers said nobody attended to them after deplaning. They were reportedly only served refreshments and no dinner.
However, the Air India spokesperson on Sunday night claimed that the airline took care of its stranded passengers and that dinner was served to all.