KOZHIKODE: Ending a 50-day ordeal at the Dubai International Airport, twin brothers Jackson and Benson Andrews flew down to the safety of their home state on Thursday. The 30-year old siblings were stuck at the airport since March 19 while returning from Lisbon in Portugal, where the duo was employed.
“We reached Dubai to catch the flight to Kerala before the lockdown was announced.
But the airlines permitted all other passengers from Dubai onboard except us, reasoning that we came from a Covid-affected European country,” Jackson told TNIE. Despite their protests, the airline authorities stuck to the rule and said that they would be let in if a communication is received from the airline office in T’Puram. “My attempts to get that didn’t succeed. I don’t know why the airlines discriminated against us. There started our harrowing experience. We were trapped literally,” he said.
Hailing from Puthiyathura in Thiruvananthapuram, the brothers spent 12 days on the airport premises before getting in touch with another expatriate and Puthiyathura native Pushpan Simon. “Simon helped us a lot. Along with one Johnson, he brought our plight to the notice of the Indian Consulate following which we were put under quarantine in the five-star hotel inside the airport.
Airport authorities provided food coupons initially and later the Indian Consulate chipped in. We weren’t allowed to move out of the hotel room,” Jackson said. As the flight landed at Karipur, Jackson and Benson were the passengers who had to tread the maximum distance to reach home