Jeddah-Mumbai fliers stranded in Delhi for 10 hrs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Jeddah-Mumbai fliers stranded in Delhi for 10 hrs

mumbai Updated: May 28, 2010 01:12 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Cancer patient Razia Yusuf was cramped inside a Mumbai-bound Air India flight for about six hours without food, water and air-conditioning at the Delhi airport on Thursday.

The 62-year-old, who underwent a surgery two months ago, was among 250 city-bound fliers stuck inside the aircraft because the flight developed a technical snag.

“It was inhuman treatment by the airline,” said Yusuf Iqbal Yusuf, her son.

The nightmare began when the Jeddah-Mumbai flight was diverted to Delhi at around 10 am. “We wanted to clear the backlog of passengers stranded because of the strike,” said the airline spokesperson.

A flash strike by the two Air India unions had grounded hundreds of flights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The situation turned chaotic for many of the passengers including women and children. Rabia Vaid, another passenger had run out of milk for her three-year-old son.

“The crew told me that I could leave the flight to feed my child,” she said.

After landing in Delhi, passengers were deplaned and asked to board again at 2 pm. Boarding was completed as per schedule but the flight did not move for about six hours. “The crew refused to give any information and was rude,” said Yusuf.

The ordeal was worse for 150 passengers out of 250 who had boarded the same aircraft on Wednesday from Jeddah. The Mumbai-bound flight originally scheduled to leave Jeddah at 1.55 am on Wednesday finally took off for Mumbai about 24 hours later.

“They made us wait at the Jeddah airport for about 10 hours and then diverted the flight to Delhi without informing us,” added Vaid.

The airline spokesperson did not explain the delay in Jeddah till the time of going to press.

The flight finally took off at 8.30 pm.

Back to normal

After two days of mass cancellations Air India flights were back on schedule on Thursday.
All flights flying in and out of Mumbai were operated as per schedule.
Travel agents said some business fliers cancelled trips waiting for chaos to end. Also, passenger load was less owing to a public holiday because of Buddha Purnima.