Chaos at major airports, passengers affected
MUMBAI/NEWDELHI: The cancellation of flights across India threw major airports into chaos on Tuesday as hundreds of passengers were forced to rejig their schedules and wait for long hours.
Nand Lal, who is in his mid40s, had come from Haryana to catch a Guwahati-bound flight at Terminal 1 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
He was offered a seat on one of the Guwahati-bound flights scheduled the next day. Lal agreed readily but had one problem: He didn’t have a place to stay for the night.
“Getting a hotel will be expensive. I am a working class person and have to save every penny. Even eating food from outside is expensive,” he said.
A similar fate befell 43-yearold Mohit Nagpal, who had no clue what to do after his Jammubound flight was cancelled. He had come to the Capital with his wife for a wedding.
“I have to reach Jammu urgently for a meeting. This is so sudden. It ruined every plan we had made till now. We weren’t even informed earlier that our flight has been cancelled,” said Nagpal.
Similar scenes of chaos were witnessed at Mumbai’s airport. A passenger flying from Mumbai to Indore by IndiGo said he came to know about the cancellation only after reaching the airport.
“After travelling all the way to the airport, I got to know that my flight was cancelled. However, I was shifted to an alternate flight by the airline,” he said.
Low-cost carriers IndiGo and Go Air cancelled 65 flights a day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded 11 Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by a particular batch of faulty Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines. The problem is likely to persist till at least June and more than 13,000 passengers are likely to be affected, according to officials.
Foreigners also faced problems. At Delhi, a group of three women from Canada were among those passengers who had no clue about what to do next.
Kelsi, Piyanka and Arianna, who are in their 20s, were dependent on a travel agent for their ticket bookings and trips. Kelsi said that their agent didn’t inform them about the cancellation. “We came to know about its cancellation only after reaching the airport,” she said.