275 left in the lurch in Mumbai as flight delayed for 43 hrs

Mar 03, 2014, 07:26 IST | Vedika Chaubey

The United Airlines flight to New York was cancelled on Friday evening, after which passengers were dropped off at hotels with no intimation about when the flight would be rescheduled

Two hundred and seventy five passengers scheduled to depart for New York on a United Airlines flight on Friday were left in the lurch when their flight was cancelled.

The passengers were on tenterhooks over the weekend, having no idea when they would make it to NY. Pic/Prashant Waydande
The passengers were on tenterhooks over the weekend, having no idea when they would make it to NY. Pic/Prashant Waydande

The passengers were dropped off at two hotels near the international airport. They were stranded in these hotels over the weekend, and claimed the airlines stopped communicating with them, leaving them on tenterhooks. The flight finally left at 7 pm yesterday.

Susan M, who is on a business trip with a group, was visibly upset, and has vowed never to travel by the airlines again. “It is ridiculous that the airline staff are treating us so badly.

They dropped us off and left us, without any intimation of their future plans. They can’t leave us like this in a city we have come to for the first time. We can’t get clean water or Internet services. It feels like we have been locked up in jail,” said Susan.

Another passenger, Sameer J, said, “The airlines has abandoned us. They should have shown us more respect. It’s been a horrible ordeal. We have been calling them repeatedly, but they refuse to give us proper answers.”

Some of the passengers said that the delay had caused a setback – some had left their kids back home, while others had urgent meetings and other commitments.

Ashish Yadav, a NRI who was in the city to meet his ailing father in Grant Road, said, “I am stuck in this hotel for no reason. My kids and wife are in USA and my father is in Mumbai. It would have helped if the airlines had provided me with correct information about how long we will have to stay here.”

Jerry Menoff, who works for a firm in India, spends every fourth week in the US with his family. “The airline has already taken away three days. I don’t know whether to fly out to meet my family or stay here another three weeks,” he said.

The other side
United Airlines flight UA49 from Mumbai to New York/Newark on February 28, 2014, a Boeing 777 aircraft, was cancelled following a mechanical issue. Unfortunately, the replacement flight on March 1 was also cancelled, as the necessary maintenance work could not be completed before the crew exceeded their legally permitted duty hours.

We have provided our customers with meals and overnight hotel accommodation. The aircraft is now scheduled to depart Mumbai on March 2 at 7 pm as flight UA1749. We regret any inconvenience experienced by our customers. - United Airlines spokesperson

>> Passengers claimed that the airlines representatives were inaccessible, in spite of repeated calls
>> They were stranded at the hotels for almost two days
>> Flight finally departed at 7 pm yesterday

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