Air India passengers face brunt of VIP culture

Bhopal: In another case of inconvenience being created because of VIP culture, Air India passengers were left stranded after a flight on Friday from New Delhi to Bhopal was delayed for seven hours following a holdup by some politicians. The passengers of the delayed flight claimed that the Air India flight, which was scheduled to depart at 7:30 pm, left at 2:30 a.m.

'Our flight was delayed and then was ultimately cancelled. After that we told them to reschedule the flight and they did. But there was a politician who did not want us to reach on time because his Bhubaneswar flight was cancelled due to some unknown reason. He was also asking that his flight should be rescheduled,' a stranded AI passenger, Maninder Singh, told ANI.

'We had to suffer a lot because of the minister. We had kids who were hungry and to add to that the flight got delayed. Initially they told us that the flight is delayed by 15 minutes, then half an hour and ultimately they cancelled the flight. The Air India manager did help us but the minister in the Bhubaneswar flight created a lot of ruckus and as a result our flight got delayed,' he added.

Meanwhile, Tathagata Satpathy, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP, who was on the flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar, said that Air India kept on delaying their flight as the national carrier had posted the crew from their flight to the one in which Madhya Pradesh Minister Sartaj Singh was travelling.

"Air India flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar was to take off at 6:20 p.m. But they kept on delaying it. When our aircraft was ready, we were then told that our flight will board after the Air India flight to Bhopal. It appeared as if crew from our flight was posted to Bhopal flight as MP Minister Sartaj Singh was one of the passengers on it," Satpathy told ANI.

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