M A I N   N E W S

Stranded A-I flight returns with ‘harried’ passengers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
Around 300 passengers of Air India’s plane, grounded at London’s Heathrow Airport for the past two days due to a bird hit, arrived here today with passengers accusing the airline authorities of harassment and not handling the situation properly.

The passengers were received at the airport by anxious relatives, as they disembarked from the plane at the Indira Gandhi International Airport around 12 pm.

The plane was on the New York- London-New Delhi-Mumbai flight.

“Air India officials did not do anything to help us,” some of the passengers, who were apparently angry, said.

The Boeing 747-400 with 434 passengers on board was grounded on Thursday after 20 minutes of its taking off from the Heathrow Airport, after it reported a bird hit.

While 96 passengers were flown here yesterday via Ahmedabad, the remaining were brought here today after the plane was repaired to make it worthy of flying.

Majority of the passengers said no immediate arrangements were made by Air India authorities to provide them relief and they had to spend a night at the airport itself and its lawns only to be later shifted to a “sub-standard” hotel.

The flight took off from New York on October 11 and it took them five days to reach New Delhi, the passengers complained.

The passengers were not even told about the reason for return to the Heathrow Airport soon after the takeoff though the crew members were duty-bound to inform them, they said.

There was utter chaos and confusion due to lack of information being given about the cause of grounding the flight and its delay, the passengers told mediapersons.

Some of the passengers even threatened to sue the Air India for the alleged harassment cause to them.

Many of the passengers were professionals working in the US and the UK and had come on a short leave for urgent family engagements.



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