Millennium Post

IGIA: Fog spells chaos for hassled flyers

Large crowds were seen at the airport waiting for long hours. At around 8:30 am, the temperature was 13 degrees Celsius and visibility below 50 metres, the airport’s website reported.

As dense fog engulfed Delhi for the third consecutive day, flight operations at IGI Airport were completely derailed leading to chaos at domestic terminals 1 and 3. Stranded passengers lost their patience and were busy seen cancelling their tickets.   

“On normal days, if flights are cancelled or rescheduled for longer periods due to a shortage of staff or technical reasons, the airlines provide us accommodation in nearby hotels. Now, they are saying they are not responsible for cancellation or rescheduling due to fog as it’s a weather phenomenon,” said Meenakshi Bansal, a professional in the city who had booked a flight for Dehradun. Owing to dense fog conditions, most of the airlines had to change their schedule repeatedly or cancel flights arbitrarily. The drastic change in the schedule of flights not only added to customers’ woes but of the airline employees al well who not only had to deal with the irate crowd but also provided tickets to customers who were providing banned Rs 500 notes as December 2 is the deadline to use demonetised notes at the airport.

Some of the customers who had booked their flight tickets two to three months in advance had to ultimately cancel their flights as there were repeated change in schedules. 

The passengers also complained that accurate real-time information was not provided by the airlines and rescheduling was being done at the 11th hour. 

A similar situation was faced by Anurag Sahay who highlighted that he had come to reclaim his cancellation amount after he cancelled his flight which was bound to Varanasi. “On normal days, they easily return the amount after cancellation but now I am waiting here in the queue for over an hour but no staff is here at the counter to attend me,” said Anurag. The passengers also informed that the airlines’ staff were stricter in scrutiny in returning money compared to previous days. Kanav Kapoor, another commuter, highlighted that his father’s Jet Airways flight to Bengaluru was cancelled due to fog. Kanav highlighted that more than the fog, it was low occupancy of the airlines that caused them to cancel several flights and cause immense hassle for the customers.
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