STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Stranded passengers at Cochin Airport suffer; allege apathy

Passengers who were stranded at Cochin Airport from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon, when the operations resumed, allege lack of planning on the part of authorities.

Published: 12th August 2019 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2019 08:43 AM   |  A+A-

Lulu and Pamela from Paris await their turn in front of the Air India Express booking office near Durbar Hall.

Lulu and Pamela from Paris await their turn in front of the Air India Express booking office near Durbar Hall. (Photo | A Sanesh)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Klaus Harter came down all the way from Germany to Kerala to attend the 90th birthday of his mother-in-law who lives at Poonjar. But the sweet memories he and his wife had during the visit turned sour after they got stuck at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) on their way back home on Friday.

Klaus was highly critical of the authorities' handling of the crisis situation. “No one shouldered responsibility,” said Klaus hailing from southwest Germany.  Hundreds of passengers like Klaus had been stranded at the airport since Thursday evening. The worst-hit were those scheduled to take connection flights to reach their respective destinations.

ALSO READ: Kerala floods - Death toll climbs to 72; 50 people missing; CM asks public not to believe fake reports of relief fund misuse

The airline authorities messed up things, said Mary Thomas, who, along with her husband, was to fly out to New York. “We boarded the plane as scheduled and were set for take-off when the commander announced that the flight has been cancelled,” said Mary. They were asked to alight. “However, there was hardly anyone around to tell us where exactly we were to stay or whether indeed the journey can be continued?” she said.

Some of the passengers complained that they got to know of the cancellation only on reaching the airport.
“The airline could have notified the passengers beforehand or made suitable alternative travel arrangements,” said Jinu Abraham, who had booked flight tickets for San Francisco and was awaiting information regarding her booking status at the Air India Express office here.  

Passengers said they were forced to go without food till 1 am at the airport. “The airlines had food on board. But they didn't distribute it to the harried passengers,” she said.

Even more pitiable was the case of French tourists Lulu and Pamela. “We have to get back to work on Monday! But now, it is virtually impossible,” said Lulu. " Actually, the plan was to fly out to New Delhi and catch the connecting flight to France from there,” she said.

Though they waxed lyrical on Malayalees' hospitality,  they said, “The airlines could have done better. They could have made alternate plans when it became evident that the airport was going to be inundated. They had last year's flood as a pointer.” Following heavy rain, the tarmac and runway got flooded leading to the cancellation of all flights.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp