116 fliers spend night at Delhi airport
Kurla resident Abhishek Gupta slept on the floor at Delhi airport’s terminal on Tuesday night.mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2010 00:29 IST
Kurla resident Abhishek Gupta slept on the floor at Delhi airport’s terminal on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old employee of a share trading firm in Mumbai was among the 116 city-bound passengers stranded at the Delhi airport for over 15 hours after their Kingfisher flight was cancelled due thick fog cover in the capital.
They boarded the flight in Delhi at 9.30 pm on Tuesday.
After sitting for three hours in the aircraft, the passengers, including senior citizens and children, were offloaded. The airline refused to provide them accommodation. Left with no option, they spent the night at the arrival terminal.
“I felt as if I was stuck at Dadar station,” said Gupta, who had to skip office as the flight reached Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon.
Gupta’s flight was one of the 11 Delhi-Mumbai flights cancelled because of heavy fog on Tuesday. Seven flights to Delhi from other destinations were diverted to Mumbai and two more flights from the city to Delhi were cancelled.
Kingfisher Airlines said the fliers could not be accommodated in a hotel because of lack of availability of rooms and poor visibility ruled out shifting the passengers out of the airport.
“We served a full meal to passengers while they were in the aircraft and distributed fog kits comprising peanuts, lemon juice and water after they were deplaned,” said the airline spokesperson.
But passengers were upset because the airline staff did not give them any information about the problem. “All along they were lying to us. After sitting in the aircraft for three hours the pilot said the flight had been cancelled,” said Andheri resident Mandar Patki, a flier.
On Wednesday morning, they were told that the flight would leave at 10 am but boarding started an hour later. “Yet again we were stuck in the aircraft till 1.30 pm,” added Patki.
“Fluctuating visibility led to air traffic congestion at Delhi. As a result the staff was not in a position to share information with passengers,” said the airline spokesperson.