Stranded couple on their way back home

Held up in Frankfurt, they are now scheduled to arrive in Bengaluru today before proceeding to Kochi

After the torrid 72 hours spent in four airports spread across as many countries, two elderly persons from Kochi are finally making their way back home here. However, there is still uncertainty over how and when they will make their way back home from the Bengaluru airport, the fifth in their treacherous journey, where they are set to land in the early hours of Sunday.

The couple, who are in-laws, are in their 60s. They were supposed to unite with their children, John Jofin and Simmy Jofin, now settled in Vegreville in Canada, on March 19. But they had to call off their journey at the Frankfurt airport in Germany owing to a new regulation brought about by the Canadian government in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Accompanied by a friend of John and his young family comprising two little children, the couple got stranded in Frankfurt for nearly 48 hours before they were booked on a flight to Mumbai, which was later changed to Bengaluru, via Abu Dhabi late on Friday. After spending over 10 hours in transit at the Abu Dhabi airport, the couple are now scheduled to touch down in Bengaluru on Sunday at 3 a.m. “It is not yet clear whether they will have to go on the 14-day quarantine there or will be allowed to proceed to Kochi in which case they will be doing so at their houses. I am just happy that they are making their way back to our country at least,” said John over phone from Vegreville.

What was of greater relief to John was that his parents and those of his wife eventually managed to activate WiFi on their mobile phones with the help of some kind-hearted people. With John’s friend having left them to leave for Canada where he is settled, the couple were on their own at Abu Dhabi.

“We cannot exactly say how happy we were when we so unexpectedly got a WhatsApp call from them. Since then, I have been in touch with them through audio clips though they still have to get outside help to access them. They sounded exhausted and were in no mood to buy food though I have urged them to have something with what little money they have,” said John.

Having left the Kochi airport on March 18, the couple had been to airports at Muscat, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, and Bengaluru even as John is trying all possible ways to arrange for their flight back home here.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 10:27:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/stranded-couple-on-their-way-back-home/article31132315.ece

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