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Woman couldn’t meet husband before death due to AI Express flight cancellations

May 14, 2024 04:41 PM IST

The woman had booked tickets for May 8 to see her husband in Muscat but she was told at the airport that the flight was cancelled

The family of a 24-year-old woman said she couldn’t meet her ailing husband before he died, after her Air India Express flight got cancelled last week.

The woman said that after the second flight was also cancelled, the airline told her nothing could be done. (Air India Express | Facebook)

24-year-old Amrita C was unable to travel to Muscat in Oman on May 8, where her husband Nambi Rajesh was admitted in the ICU of a private hospital following cardiac issues, after her 8:30am AIE flight from Thiruvananthapuram was cancelled due to shortage of airline cabin crew.

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Subsequently, after much persuasion by Amrita and her mother Chitra citing her husband’s critical condition, the airline rescheduled the ticket to the same flight the next day.

However, the flight on May 9 also got cancelled due to the flash strike after hundreds of crew members went on mass ‘sick leaves.

Also Read: 86 Air India Express flights cancelled after cabin crew call in sick en masse

Amrita’s uncle Rajan, who drives an autorickshaw in Thiruvananthapuram, told HT over phone, “We were all extremely distraught when the flight was cancelled for the second time. Rajesh was all alone in Muscat when he was admitted to the hospital and Amrita really wanted to be with him. After that, there was no other alternative but to cancel the ticket and get the refund. We tried for tickets through other airlines too, but we didn’t get any due to massive demand.”

Afterwards, the family spoke to Rajesh on the phone, when his condition improved in the hospital.

“He sounded okay at the time and said he would fly to Kerala soon. He spent three days in the hospital ICU and got discharged on May 11. He told me that he felt fine, but my concern was that he was alone where he lived. The last time I spoke to him was on Sunday night when he told me he had booked a ticket to Kerala on May 16. But it was not to be”, Amrita told HT.

The family said Rajesh, who worked in Muscat for the past 8 years as an IT manager in a school, died on Monday due to cardiac arrest.

“He was alone there and so must have been mentally distraught. He had no major health concerns at all. If Amrita was able to travel to Muscat on the AIE flight, she could have helped him and he wouldn’t have died,” said Rajan.

The family said it would move legally against AIE as the airline deserved to provide them an explanation after Rajesh’s death.

“Amrita’s mother sent a text message to the airline manager at Thiruvananthapuram airport following Rajesh’s death. But there has been no response yet. We are also yet to get the refund for the cancelled ticket,” said Rajan.

He said the mortal remains of Rajesh are expected to reach Thiruvananthapuram airport on Wednesday.

Officials of Air India Express were unavailable for comment and the copy will be updated whenever it is received.

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