Two Air India (AI) aeroplanes from Mumbai were grounded on Saturday owing to technical snags, leaving hundreds of passengers stuck for hours at the domestic airport.
According to airline officials, eight flights on the metro routes were delayed for up to five hours owing to the snag.
“One aircraft was grounded for maintenance, while the other encountered a snag before its scheduled take-off time. As a result, around eight departures had to be rescheduled. We tried our best to minimise the delays,” said an AI spokesperson.
However, passengers claimed more than the delays, it was misleading communication from the airline’s terminal staff that led to flying tempers.
City resident Jayshri Naik, for instance, was heading to Bangalore for a family vacation with her two children.
The flight she was to board, AI 607, was scheduled to leave the city at 4.15pm on Saturday. However, when she reached the boarding gates, she found it had been delayed by three hours.
“The most annoying part about the wait was that the airline staff were either clueless about what caused the delays or refused to tell us the actual reasons,” said Naik. Her family was finally put in a flight that left the city at 9:30pm.
“I reached Bangalore at 11:30pm,” she said.
“In addition to the long wait at the Mumbai airport, I had to pay the night fare for my taxi ride and felt unsafe travelling late,” said Naik.
Another passenger, requesting anonymity, said there was contradiction in the AI ground staff’s statements.
“One terminal staffer said we would be accommodated in an aircraft arriving from Varanasi, while another said the spare aircraft was coming from Goa. We bought expensive air tickets, the least we expect is to be told the truth,” said the passenger.