TIRUPATI: Passengers, including Nagari MLA RK Roja, TDP MLA Jogeswara Rao, former finance minister and senior TDP leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, of Rajamahendravaram-Tirupati Indigo flight 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, including Roja.
Roja 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, 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 said in a short video message sent to the media. The flight finally went to Bengaluru and landed at 12,30 pm. “We were put through mental torture as we were not allowed to disembark for more than two hours,” Roja said. The crew initially said the flight was diverted to Bengaluru due to bad weather but later claimed there was a technical problem.
After the passengers stoutly refused to pay any extra charge, the airline finally relented and let them disembark in Bengaluru.There was no immediate reaction from the private airliner regarding the matter.
“It could be a technical snag in the navigational aids inside the plane and this error might have created troubles during the landing when it reached Renigunta airport,” Tirupati Airport sources said.
However, when the Indigo flight was allegedly hovering in the air, two flights — SpiceJet and Indigo from Hyderabad and Vijayawada — landed at Tirupati airport, official sources said.