IndiGo passengers stranded overnight at Hyderabad airport after abrupt flight cancellation

Passengers asked to deplane 30 minutes after boarding citing inclement weather, put on early morning flight the next day; no accommodation, food arranged, say passengers

December 02, 2023 08:35 pm | Updated December 03, 2023 06:19 am IST - HYDERABAD

The passengers were later informed that the delay was owing to runway carpeting work at the Bhubaneswar airport, contrary to the earlier explanation of bad weather.

The passengers were later informed that the delay was owing to runway carpeting work at the Bhubaneswar airport, contrary to the earlier explanation of bad weather. | Photo Credit: Representational photo

Passengers travelling with IndiGo Airlines faced an unexpected ordeal at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on Friday night after the airline abruptly cancelled its late-night flight, leaving travellers stranded. The affected passengers were subsequently rescheduled for an early morning flight the following day.

The disrupted flight, 6E 922, was originally scheduled to depart from RGIA at 9.15 p.m. and land at Bhubaneshwar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport by 10.45 p.m.. A delay notification was initially displayed on the gate’s information board, pushing the departure time to 10 p.m.. However, around 10 p.m., after boarding, the passengers were asked to deplane owing to inclement weather, as informed by the pilot. The same flight had arrived late at the Hyderabad airport from a prior journey.

One passenger, requesting anonymity, said, “After sitting in the plane for about 30 minutes, the pilot announced that owing to bad weather, the plane cannot take off, so the passengers have to deboard the plane.”

Subsequently, around 11 p.m., the passengers returned to the terminal, only to find no IndiGo staff to assist them. Tensions rose during an argument between the passengers and airline staff. Eventually, the passengers were informed about their rescheduled 6 a.m. flight the next morning, but were reportedly not provided any information regarding accommodation or food. Those with credit cards could access airport lounges, while others spent the night sleeping on the chairs at the gate.

On Saturday morning, the passengers, tired and disturbed, gathered at the respective gate for flight 6E 3110, scheduled to depart at 6 a.m.. However, until 5.45 a.m., there was no update from the airline staff. Boarding began at 6.35 a.m., and the passengers were informed that the delay was owing to runway carpeting work at Bhubaneswar airport, contrary to the previous night’s explanation of bad weather, according to sources.

After enduring a nine-hour ordeal at Hyderabad airport, the flight finally departed at 6.36 a.m., reaching Bhubaneswar at 7.43 a.m. Expressing frustration, a passenger remarked, “Delays happen for various reasons, but it is the airline’s responsibility to ensure that passengers receive adequate information and are provided with food and accommodation in such situations.”

IndiGo Airlines and the Bhubaneswar airport did not attend calls for comments on the incident.

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