The flash strike by Air India employees that was called off on Wednesday evening left thousands of passengers across the country stranded and fuming, as dozens of flights were cancelled.
At least 35 flights to metros and tier-two cities, and seven international flights, were cancelled.
Meera Gosavi, who lives near Mumbai, hired a private car to catch her flight on time on Wednesday. But on reaching Mumbai airport she learnt the Air India flight to Bangalore was cancelled.
“Who will bear the cab fare?” said Gosavi, a homemaker who spent Rs 1,000 to reach the airport. Many travellers had similarly frustrating stories.
“Many (airline) call centre employees also participated in the strike,” the Air India spokesperson admitted.
The airline offered to shift some travellers to other domestic airlines, but they were reportedly asked to pay the fare difference. “What is the use of buying a ticket three months in advance if I have to pay Rs 2,000 extra?” said Brijesh
Punjabi, whose flight from Mumbai to Delhi was cancelled.
In Patna, Air India operated its morning and afternoon flights but its evening flight to Delhi was cancelled.
In Bangalore, the strike had a limited impact, officials said. Two flights from Bangalore to Mumbai and Maldives were cancelled, airline officials said.
Air India reportedly cancelled four flights, including an international one, scheduled from Hyderabad.
Though the strike was called off, services are expected to be normal only by Thursday afternoon.