Fog disrupts 54 flights at KIA, passengers stranded

Fog disrupts 54 flights at KIA, passengers stranded

No visibility: Fog delayed several flights from the Kempegowda International Airport on Thursday morning.

Early morning fog played spoilsport yet again, disrupting 54 flight operations at the Kempegowda International Airport here on Thursday. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport terminal for hours.

The departure of 36 flights to different destinations and arrival of 17 services were delayed as a thick layer of fog enveloped the airfield and surroundings. Visibility dropped to near zero.

The visibility standby, issued at 5.52 am, was withdrawn only at 9.08 am. The standby is declared when general visibility goes below 2,500 metres.

A BlueDart cargo flight from Mumbai was diverted to Mangaluru, said a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson.

For passengers, the fog season has been frustrating due to the repeated delays. One of them, Vibha Jain was to take off by an IndiGo flight at 7.55 am. She complained that the airline had compensated for the delay with a ‘school picnic box’.

“Passengers were forced to (be) seated in the plane for 3 hours. Kids were not allowed to use washroom. Passenger literally tired asking for water,” she tweeted to the airline.

Another passenger, Aniruddh Kotian, was to take the 9.20 am flight to Mumbai. This, too, was delayed by the fog. But the wait did not end after boarding the plane. He tweeted from his seat, “I have been sitting in the flight for more than hour and now get an update saying that we have to wait 30-45 min more for take off. That’s almost 2 hours of waiting in flight for take off! Ridiculous.”

To make matters worse for passengers, a system outage on Wednesday evening had forced airlines to issue handwritten boarding passes, which left hundreds of travellers in long queues for over two hours.

The outage, reported between 6 pm and 7 pm, was set right an hour later. However, several passengers took to social media to complain.