From bad to worse: Passengers on a Bengaluru-bound flight from Delhi were delayed by more than seven hours on Sunday night thanks to dust storms and a lack of pilot. The plane did depart in the early hours of Monday, but passengers arrived into Bengaluru only to find that their bags were missing.
Passengers of a Bengaluru-bound IndiGo flight were stranded on the tarmac for over seven hours late Sunday night, The Economic Times reports. IndiGo Flight 6E 2977 was originally scheduled for departure from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 10:40 p.m. local time, but was delayed due to lack of a pilot as well as poor weather.
Travelers took to social media to voice their frustration, with passenger Pranith Alagwadi tweeting, “DEL-BLR 6E2977 delayed by over 7 hours (22:40 to 6:40). Kept us like cattle in the bus. And then like dogs on the asphalt of the runway.”
Another passenger, Ajeetesh Pratap Singh, tweeted, “@IndiGo6E Flight no. 6E-2977 & 6E-2376 grounded for want of pilot. And the best explanation they’ve come up with is, the previous pilot’s duty hours were over. Seriously?”
While the flight did eventually depart, passengers’ woes continued after the plane’s arrival into Bengaluru. In a follow-up message, Singh tweeted, “@IndiGo6E Just when I thought finally, the ordeal’s over, the baggage goes missing at Blr Airport. It can’t get any worse (sic) from here.”
A spokesperson for the carrier explained that the flight was delayed due to dust storms and the fact that the plane’s pilots had exceeded their duty time.
“In totality, IndiGo had 30 diversions due to extreme severe weather conditions which has led to massive delays and cancellations across all airlines. Delhi was worst affected…,” the representative said.
They added, “The flight 6E 2977 started boarding at 2:30 am. After boarding and prolonged waiting due to severe weather conditions, the pilots went out of flight duty time. Therefore, a new crew was arranged. This flight therefore had an estimated departure time i.e 5:30 am this morning.”
No explanation was given as to why passengers were left stranded, but in a letter circulated via Twitter, Saba Zaidi, DEL’s associate director, apologized for the incident and was quoted as saying, “As a gesture to restore your faith in our brand our customer relations team shall contact you following morning and we shall offer you service recovery voucher which can be used for further transportation.”