Sunday, October 09, 2016

Space-crunched Air India plane leaves eight Gujarat-bound fliers in lurch

Mumbai: Eight passengers booked in national carrier Air India (AI) flight AI-0017 were forced to cancel their journey to Ahmedabad from Mumbai after the airline failed to accommodate them in an aircraft. All eight passengers were going to the capital of Gujarat to attend a business summit.
Confirming the incident, an AI official said the aircraft was supposed to depart Mumbai around 5.30 am on Friday, but due to a technical snag after boarding, the airline shifted the passengers to an another aircraft, as they had to ground the first aircraft. The second aircraft did not have enough space to accommodate all passengers who had booked tickets. “The second aircraft which was called, wasn’t able to accommodate all passengers, so we told these eight passengers to wait at the terminal till the next arrangement,” said the Air India spokesperson.
Saikat Chakraborthy, an advertising professional who missed his meeting due to the cancellation, said, “I was travelling with my three colleagues, and we were supposed to attend an important business meeting, but due to the problems caused by the airline, we had to cancel our meeting.”
According to Mr Chakraborthy, the airline changed the gate number of boarding at the last moment, (from 44 to 85), and after the eight passengers, (two groups) reached at the boarding gate airline staff debarred them from boarding. “At that point Air India made no efforts to re-book us on any other morning flights of other airlines though there were flights available. The only flight options given were for late evening, around 6.30 pm which was not acceptable to any of the eight passengers because of prior business commitments, and we all had return ticket booked from Ahmedabad of a 6 pm flight,” said Mr Chakraborthy.
09/10/16 Ashita Dadheech/Asian Age
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