Pune: About 115 passengers of Air India flight IX 211 from Pune to Dubai suffered a harrowing 12 hours at Pune airport as the flight that was to depart from Pune at 3.45 pm on Thursday was delayed. The passengers alleged that they were left in the lurch by the airline.
They alleged that the airline officials kept passengers on their toes by making 'piecemeal' announcements throughout the night. The flight finally departed at 3.10 am on Friday. Airline officials at Pune said that the flight was delayed because of some technical snag. Around 15 passengers decided to cancel the flight after waiting for many hours.
According to passengers, "Many passengers arrived at Pune airport due to Ganesh visarjan on Thursday. All initial formalities were done by passengers at 3.10 pm for final boarding procedures. Later, one female staff came and told us there is some technical issue in the flight and it will be rescheduled at 4.15 pm. We were asked to sit near the waiting area.
Passengers included 5-7 senior citizens and many families with their kids. After an hour it was announced that the flight will depart at 5.15 pm. But finally the flight took off from Pune at 3.10 am on Friday."
Ajit Gadekar, a doctor in Dubai, said, "There was no clarification. We were told by the airline manager that the problem is more complex and may not be resolved so he gave some the option to cancel tickets and go back and said the next Air India Express flight will be on Sunday, September 3. But that was not acceptable to us as most of us had to reach on September 1.
After some argument, he told us that may be they will arrange a special flight from Mumbai to Pune, which will take us to Dubai and it will land in Pune at 12 am and will depart at 1 am on September 1. Then he confirmed that the special flight will be rerouted from Mumbai to Pune to take us to Dubai," he said.
Suhas Jadhav, Station Manager, Air India, Pune, said, "There was a technical problem in the flight so we cannot carry passengers. We have arranged another flight from Mumbai, which was non-scheduled. The flight came to Pune at 2.30 am. We arranged food and beverages for passengers."