Inclement weather in the national capital forced a Delhi-bound United Airlines flight from Newark with more than 260 passengers to land in Mumbai on Sunday night. According to the stranded passengers, UA 82 was on schedule, but minutes before touchdown, the pilots announced it was being diverted to Mumbai. About 40 Delhi-bound flights were diverted on Sunday night, said an airport source.
“We reached Mumbai at 10.30pm. For the subsequent four hours, we could not move out of the aircraft and the airline crew refused to give any updates,” said Sunil Singh, a Noida resident, who had gone to New Jersey on an official trip.
As tempers began to fly, the airline allegedly gave two options — those who needed to leave for Delhi urgently were asked to book themselves on a domestic flight, while those who wished to wait were asked to submit their passports and put up in a hotel close to T2. Some passengers got their room keys at 5am and about a dozen booked themselves on a budget carrier that left Mumbai at 6.30am.
Some luggage also got misplaced in the chaos. “Some bags, including mine, did not arrive. When I reported the matter, they said a complaint would be taken only after reaching Delhi,” said Singh.
Many stranded fliers reached home before the early hours of Tuesday. According to the revised schedule, the passengers would be put in a UA flight that would leave from Mumbai at 12:45am on Tuesday.
The UA spokesperson confirmed the flight delay. “United Airlines flight UA82 from New York/Newark to Delhi on May 28, 2016, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 261 customers and a crew of 15 on board, diverted to Mumbai due to weather conditions. The aircraft landed safely at 10.24 pm local time. We provided our customers with meals and overnight hotel accommodation. We are making arrangements for our customers to complete their journeys and a replacement flight is set to depart Mumbai on May 31 at 12.45 am local time. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused,” read a statement issued by the airline.