Chaos at ma­jor air­ports, pas­sen­gers af­fected

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Sne­hal Tri­pathi and Neha LM Tri­pathi let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ ▪ (With in­puts from PTI and Bloomberg)

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.

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