Troubles galore for passengers stranded at KIA

Among the worst affected were over 600 international passengers from Sharjah and Doha, who were initially left clueless about reaching their destinations in Kerala.

Diversion of four flights to Bengaluru after the closure of the Kochi airport triggered massive problems for passengers at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Wednesday. Among the worst affected were over 600 international passengers from Sharjah and Doha, who were initially left clueless about reaching their destinations in Kerala.

Trouble had started early Wednesday morning soon after the Cochin International Airport was closed for four days in the wake of unprecedented rainfall. As Kochi-bound passengers reached KIA, they were told that Air Asia, IndiGo, SpiceJet and IndiGo flights were all cancelled. By evening, the cancelled list had grown to 12 arrival flights and 16 departure flights.

But the diverted landing of Jet Airways flights from Sharjah (9W 561) and Doha (9W 555) at KIA in the afternoon aggravated the problems. Passengers, including hundreds of women and children, were all agitated that their flights could not land in Kochi. However, they hoped their stay at KIA would be temporary before alternative commute is arranged.

To their shock, many discovered that they had to fend for themselves after getting out of the emigration counters. “We were under the impression that arrangements would be made to take us to Kochi from here. But after collecting our luggage, we realised we were on our own. The airline staff started talking as if it was not their responsibility at all as it was a natural calamity in Kochi,” said a passenger, who took to social media to vent his anger and frustration.

Most passengers had paid a premium for the Kochi flights, and this turn of events had really upset them.

“All road routes from here to Kerala are in disarray. We don’t know how to go from here. We have paid 1,000 to 1,500 dirhams to take this flight. Those making killer profits should at least show some concern and courtesy towards the passengers,” complained another traveller. 

Given option to travel to Coimbatore

Later, in a Twitter response to a passenger, Jet Airways clarified that the airline’s guests were given an option to travel to Coimbatore. “We have operated two flights 9W 889 and 9W 1561 for the same. Also, we note that most of the guests have already taken that option.”

A Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) spokesperson said at least one international airline had arranged hotel accommodation for passengers. A few were also taken by road to Kerala. But those headed to destinations in North Kerala could not take that option as all roads through Wyanad beyond Sultan Batheri were flooded.

READ MORE: Buses to Kerala cancelled, no trains to Mangaluru

Kerala rain: Kochi airport shut till Saturday

4 more NDRF team airlifted to Kerala

Flood-hit Kerala calls off official Onam celebration

Rain fury unabated; Kerala toll touches 67

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