Tiruchy-bound fliers protest on AI plane
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
25th November 2012 08:15 AM
Irate passengers bound for Tiruchy staged a sit-in protest inside an Air India aircraft here, after they discovered that their connecting flight to Tiruchy had been cancelled. After Air India authorities said that they had to reach their destination by bus, the miffed passengers protested before relenting and eventually departing by road.
This comes a day after passengers bound for Malaysia from Tiruchy were forced to come to Chennai by bus to catch their connecting flight as the aircraft they were supposed to board developed a snag in Singapore.
Airport sources said that an Air India Express flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai, landed at the Anna International Airport here at around 11 am with 156 passengers - 82 passengers alighted, while 74 passengers, who were to fly to Tiruchy on the same flight, waited. “Normally the flight isn’t continuous and flies from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai and then Tiruchy passengers have to reboard a Singapore-bound flight via Tiruchy. So they did not realise anything was amiss when the flight crew said that it was a Chennai flight. Only after arriving in Chennai did they realise that their onward flight had been cancelled,” said an Air India source.
When they were asked to deplane, protests began, “We bought tickets up to Tiruchy. Why should we travel in a bus. It’s a 40-minute travel by air whereas it will take eight hours in a bus,” an angry passenger said.
An Air India spokesperson said that there were two planes flying the Kuala Lumpur - Chennai - Tiruchy - Singapore route, one of which was grounded in Singapore on Friday evening leaving a lone Air India Express plane. This was rescheduled for the Kula Lumpur-Chennai-Singapore route only. Normalcy was restored after the plane returned on Saturday night.
Sources blamed ground handling services in Kuala Lumpur for not informing the passengers about the change.
About 60 of the Tiruchi-bound passengers left in two buses at around 2.30 pm while 14 others said they would go on their own. acccording to police sources.
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