Passengers suffer 16-hour ordeal aboard Mumbai-Abu Dhabi flight

June 14th, 2008 - 6:02 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) More than 150 passengers, including women and children, were stranded aboard an Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flight for more than 16 hours Friday because of technical problems. The Etihad Airways flight that was scheduled to leave Abu Dhabi at 10.15 a.m. Friday and reach Mumbai at 2.45 p.m. same day finally reached Delhi at around 1 a.m. Saturday.

“The Etihad flight EY206 was scheduled to depart from Abu Dhabi at 10.15 a.m. Friday but the flight could not take off due to technical reasons,” said Prakash Khandekar, a passenger.

“We were all inside the flight and it was a scene of chaos till 7.30 p.m. Friday when the flight departed from Abu Dhabi. As we reached Mumbai the flight could not land due to rain and other air traffic problems,” Khandekar told IANS from inside the flight.

“Then they diverted our flight to Delhi saying that there was a fuel shortage. Now (3 a.m. Saturday) we are at Delhi Airport and all passengers have refused to get off the plane,” he said.

He complained that the airline people were not taking care of the passengers and there was no drinking water for them.

“Now the airline people are asking us to spend the night in a nearby hotel and saying that we will be transferred to Mumbai by the next flight but we want to reach our destination immediately. We also demand compensation for harassment and are asking for return of fare,” Khandekar, a retired army officer said.

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