AMARAVATI: Passengers, including some legislators, of the flight of a private carrier that was supposed to land in Tirupati on Tuesday morning had a harrowing experience as the aircraft allegedly developed a technical problem before finally making a detour and landing in Bengaluru.
The airlines allegedly demanded each passenger to pay Rs 5,000 to let them disembark but ultimately gave up after stiff resistance from the travellers, which included ruling YSR Congress MLA RK Roja.
Roja, also a film actor, recounted the plight of the passengers and warned of legal action against the company over the way in which the whole episode was handled. The flight from Rajamahendravaram to Tirupati, both in Andhra Pradesh, took off at 9.00 am on Tuesday and was supposed to land in Tirupati around 10.30 am. However, it did not land at the Tirupati airport allegedly because of a technical problem and hovered for some time in the air. "We are stuck in the aircraft as its doors are not opening. They (crew) say they are awaiting instructions," Roja earlier said in a short video message sent to the media.
The flight finally went to Bengaluru and landed. But, the airline staffers allegedly asked each passenger to pay Rs 5,000 as they took a detour to the Karnataka capital. "We were put through mental torture as we were not allowed to disembark for more than two hours," the firebrand MLA later alleged.
The crew initially said the flight was diverted to Bengaluru due to bad weather but later claimed there was a technical problem. "They put us through a big ordeal and even endangered the lives of passengers," the film star-MLA lashed out. Veteran TDP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and YSRC MLA Jogeswara Rao were among the 70 passengers aboard the flight.
After the passengers stoutly refused pay any extra charge, the airline finally relented and let them disembark in Bengaluru, information reaching here said. There was no immediate reaction from the private airliner regarding the matter.