Flyers wait 18 hrs to fly 80 minutes

As many as 38 air passengers who were to take a flight that would have taken 80 minutes were made to wait for 18 hours before they could take off.

The Air India flight carrying the passengers to Goa and then going on to Kuwait was scheduled to take off from Chennai at 6.15 pm. The Goa-bound passengers were expected to land there by 7.30 pm.

However, these 38 passengers were left behind by Air India so that the 95 other passengers could be flown directly to Kuwait when the flight took off after a delay of four-and-a-half hours, at 10.45 pm on Monday.

As Monday’s scheduled flight did not land in Goa, 22 passengers from there bound for Kuwait were also stranded. They were accommodated in hotels there and travelled to Kuwait on Tuesday’s Chennai-Goa-Kuwait flight.

“The delay was caused by a technical snag. However, later we found that if the flight goes via Goa, it will affect the schedule of the pilots. We found that the pilots will have to work more than their stipulated time of working, which is against norms, if we fly via Goa. We thus decided to So we decided to leave Goa out of the Chennai-Goa-Kuwait flight schedule and fly directly to Kuwait,” airlines source said.

All the 38 domestic passengers were forced to wait till Tuesday afternoon before they were accommodated on a private airline’s flight from Chennai to Goa.

The airline officials claimed that the Goa bound passengers were 'consulted' about the change of schedule before the Air India flight took off for Kuwait with the other passengers.

The passengers were given hotel accommodation in various hotels in the city for Monday night.

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