Sunday, December 06, 2020

Fog delays flights, irks flyers at Patna

Patna: The densely foggy morning on Saturday in Patna severely impacted flights as many of them had to be rescheduled. With the visibility dropping to 400 meters, the city airport alerted passengers to check their flight timings with the respective airlines before leaving home.

The foggy conditions in the city and across north India led to the delay of 12 flights, both inbound and departing at Patna airport till 8.30pm on Saturday. Altogether 44 flights currently operate from Patna airport under the revised winter schedule.

The Patna airport on Saturday alerted passengers to check their flight timings to avoid unnecessary hassle and congestion during the security check. “Due to fog/poor visibility at Patna Airport, passengers are requested to check their flight status from respective airlines’ call centre/ customer services before starting the journey to airport (sic),” said a tweet posted by the airport handle.

The delay, of more than 2 to 3 hours in some cases, irked passengers. No flights to and from Pune were diverted but the Delhi airport reported several delays.

Priya Sharma, a management student, said she had to wait for three- and- half hours to board her flight from Patna to Bengaluru. “I have not received any message from the airlines regarding the delay or reschedule of flight. The airlines should have informed the passengers about the delay well in advance. The flight was scheduled to depart at 8.25 am but the departure took place at 11.50 am. Airline executives say that the flight was delayed due to bad weather in Patna,” she said.

A flyer from Delhi, Kundan Kumar, wrote on Twitter: “Without any reason, my flight was delayed for 3 hours. Due to the delay, I suffered financial loss (sic).”

Replying to the grievances of the flyers, the executives of SpiceJet tweeted, “The flight was delayed due to bad weather at Patna. We always try our best to maintain the departures as per the schedule. However, at times due to unavoidable reasons, we face delays (sic).”

Another flyer SK Sinha, who also suffered delay said, “No Covid safety protocol has been maintained at the city airport. Instead of managing the passengers, chaotic situation has been witnessed inside the terminal building,” he said.

Due to long-queues at checking points, one flyer Vikash Gupta had missed his flight for Delhi, even though the aircraft was delayed by two hours and 14 minutes.

06/12/20 Faryal Rumi/Times of India

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