Passengers of a Delhi-Visakhapatnam  Air India flight on Monday had a harrowing experience, with many of them continuing to suffer even 24 hours later.

The trauma for them began when the flight, AI451, which took off at 3 pm from Delhi, had to be diverted without landing at Visakhapatnam due to inclement weather. They were taken to Hyderabad, where they were reportedly told that those who wanted to alight could do so, but the airlines would not be making any alternative arrangement for them to go to Vizag.

According to Delhi-based broadcast journalist Padma Meenakshi who was on the flight, about 100 passengers got down at Hyderabad, but the rest, including some from the United States and United Kingdom, decided to return to Delhi to see whether they could reschedule. They reached Delhi at 11.50 pm, where the experience only got worse, says Meenakshi, adding that there was no Air India

official to help them or make alternative arrangements or provide accommodation.

In a series of tweets, Meenakshi asks what aviation rules prescribe in such conditions, and points out that usually airlines should provide for accommodation. In this case, that was not done, and it was after several hours that some arrangement was made. Even then, some passengers were in the airport even on Tuesday because the airlines was not paying for the accommodation, which one student from the UK being asked to pay Rs.4,000 for three hours.

“If the rules don’t allow for any alternative arrangement, they should at least tell us without making all the passengers wait for seven or eight hours,” Meenakshi said.

When reports last came in, the particular flight was cancelled, though Air India was yet to respond to the tweets from different passengers or pass on any other information.
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