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Heading home, by all means

Thousands of passengers faced the brunt of the strike by Air India employees on its second day at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

delhi Updated: May 26, 2010 23:21 IST
HT Correspondent

Thousands of passengers faced the brunt of the strike by Air India employees on its second day at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Many passengers who had booked Air India tickets had to finally reach their destinations by trains, buses and taxis. Before they could board alternate modes of transport to reach places like Chandigarh, Varanasi and Patna, they also had to face the alleged rude behaviour of the Air India staff.

“I had to take the Delhi-Chandigarh flight today but after coming to the airport I was told it has been cancelled,” said Samir Nanda, a passenger.

“Now I will got to the ISBT and take a bus to Chandigarh. I have to attend a family function.”

The worst affected were passengers coming from Dubai, with a connecting flight to other cities like Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna.

“I have just arrived from Dubai and now they are telling me that the connecting flight to Patna has been cancelled,” said Mohit Kumar Singh, another passenger.

Busloads of passengers were sent to the New Delhi Railway station to board the Rajdhani to reach Patna.

Passengers of about 35 different flights were sent by trains such as the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express to their destinations.

The domestic departure terminal 1A of the IGI airport was a scene of complete chaos with hundreds of passengers stranded outside under the scorching sun. Many counters were unmanned and others had serpentine queues.

“The airline staff is not well behaved and can”t even answer most of the queries by passengers,” Nanda said.

Many passengers were offered a bus ride to Varasani but most of them refused the other and demanded that they be put up in hotels in

Delhi instead. They only ended being treated rudely and remained at the domestic airport for hours.

International passengers were also left high and dry at Terminal 2 with Air India flights like Delhi-Jeddah cancelled.

“My visa that will enable me to enter Jeddah has expired due to the cancellation but the airline is not willing to give that in writing. I will be deported the moment I land there,” said Syed Ahmed Ali, a passenger of flight AI-891.

Sania Anwar, a Bhopal resident, had to run from pillar to post just to get a refund on her ticket.

“My eight-year-old son is waiting under the searing heat since morning. Why can’t I just get my refund easily and book another ticket?” she said.