4-hour flight turns into 22-hour nightmare for Air India Express Doha-Kozhikode passengers

The Air India Express flight had departed from Doha at Indian time 3.30 pm and was supposed to arrive at the airport in Kozhikode by 7.25 pm. Photo: Air India

Karipur: The passengers who boarded an Air India Express flight at the Doha airport on Wednesday, to travel to Kozhikode, were hoping to reach their destination in four hours. Little did they know their time on the flight would extend to 22 hours, that too with three detours – to Kannur, Mangaluru and Kochi, before landing in Kozhikode due to extreme weather conditions. The 180 passengers, including kids, pregnant women and the elderly had no choice, but to trust the airline that hardly tried to help them handle the ordeal. At a time when Air India Express' actions are widely condemned after the recent mass cancellations of flights following a cabin crew strike, the Doha – Kozhikode episode became another nightmare for flyers who trusted the airline.

No food, no AC, additional detours
The Air India Express flight had departed from Doha at Indian time at 3.30 pm and was supposed to arrive at the airport in Kozhikode by 7.25 pm. The aircraft was directed to Kannur as the weather got worse. However, the flight didn’t receive the permission to land there. The aircraft then flew to Managaluru and landed there by 9.30 pm. Even though the passengers were instructed to deboard the aircraft by 11 pm, they refused. They spent the night inside the aircraft. The passengers said that they were given food only by 3.30 am and that the AC inside the aircraft was switched off as soon as it landed. They were informed that they would leave at 7 am, but the aircraft took off only by 9 am.

The flight was expected to land at the airport in Kozhikode at 9.58 am. However, the permission to land was declined due to bad weather. They were then directed to Kochi airport. Even though the passengers were keen to travel to their destinations via road, they weren’t allowed to deboard the plane. The authorities cited difficulties in the immigration procedure as the reason. Meanwhile, two passengers who experienced discomfort were moved to the hospital. The aircraft then flew to Kozhikode after taking out their luggage. The flight arrived in Kozhikode by 1.30 pm.

Authorities cite bad weather
Most passengers were exhausted as they had to spend almost an entire day inside the aircraft without proper food and water. Meanwhile, the authorities cited bad weather for the inconvenience and added that they had tried everything possible to fly the passengers to their destination as early as possible. Many Air India Express flights from Kozhikode were delayed and eventually cancelled on Thursday after Kerala experienced heavy rains across the district. Kozhikode was on an orange alert on the day, with the city experiencing waterlogging and landslides at many stretches.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.