Fogged out, travellers go brrr
For thousands of passengers stranded at the Delhi airport on Sunday, travelling during Christmas and New Year holidays turned into a nightmare. HT reportsdelhi Updated: Dec 26, 2010 23:39 IST
For thousands of passengers stranded at the Delhi airport on Sunday, travelling during Christmas and New Year holidays turned into a nightmare.
Pranoy Kapoor (28), a branch manager with a well-known paint company, had planned a New Year getaway to Malaysia with his wife Tapashree. The journey, however, began on a bitter note.
His Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur (D7 2507) was expected to depart at 9.05pm on Saturday but till 11am on Sunday, the newly married couple was stuck at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. “Our flight was delayed and the boarding finally started at 11 pm,” said Kapoor. “We kept sitting inside the aircraft for the next seven hours before we were sent back to the terminal at around 7am,” he said.
“Even though the passengers requested to be deboarded, the pilot kept repeating that we are going to take off soon,” said Tapashree.
“We have nearly spent 17 hours for a seven hour flight,” she said. “We could have reached New York in the same amount of time,” she said.
While many passengers of international flights complained that they were made to sit for long hours, domestic passengers, too, spent three to four hours waiting.
Taking note of the problem, the civil aviation ministry has asked airlines not to board passengers in aircraft till visibility reaches 125 metres at the airport. Sources said at a meeting chaired by the civil aviation secretary with other stakeholders, many airlines were taken to task for harassing passengers.
Passengers also complained that there was utter lack of information at the airport with the Flight Information Display System not showing real time data.
Reaching and coming out of the airport, too, proved to be a major hassle due to thick fog. “Reaching the airport was a nightmare. I also witnessed accidents on the road,” said Rohit Khanna, another passenger.
Bulbul Chatterjee, a Gurgaon resident, had come to pick her daughter from the airport on Saturday but found it tough going back hom“Though I stay close by, we were afraid to drive in the thick fog,” she said. They eventually booked a room at a hotel next to the airport and spent the night there.