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No info on pilots’ stir makes Jet passengers sweat at airport

Hundreds of passengers found themselves stranded at Mumbai airport because of the Jet Airways pilots’ agitation.

Hundreds of passengers found themselves stranded at Mumbai airport because of the Jet Airways pilots’ agitation. Passengers who arrived in the morning hours were in a fix as most of them were unaware of the decision by the pilots to go on sick leave as they had taken the decision post-midnight.

“I had no clue. I came here and saw no information on the flight information system and realised what was happening when a Jet official told me that my flight has been cancelled,” said Norman D’Souza (33),a BPO executive who lives in Malad and who was to board a flight to Delhi for a meeting.

Passengers say that the poor assistance from the Jet ground staff annoyed them more. 

“They didn’t help at all. There was nobody around us to tell us what to do,” said R Ludhani,a Bandra resident who had come to drop her sons,Hitesh and Haresh,who were to board a Jet flight to Kochi for an ayurvedic treatment programme. “Don’t you watch the news,” is what a ground staff personnel told Ludhani,she said.

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Another Delhi-bound passenger,Ajay Sinha (53),said that Jet did not even send him an SMS to apprise him of the situation.

Mudit Mittal (26) travelling on a connecting flight to Baroda from Nagpur via Mumbai found himself stranded at the airport with nowhere to go. “The airline website,call centre and Jet Alert SMSes will provide updated information on the flight status. Efforts will be made to update flight status through news channels. All affected guests can get either a full refund or book themselves on an alternative date without having to pay any cancellation or reissue charges,” said Jet in a statement.

Airport officials also had to provide extra seating in the terminal building as passengers whose flights were cancelled started increasing in number. “Jet schedule was totally disrupted as the Flight Information Display System (FIDS) did not show any information on Jet’s flight,” said an airport official. Ground staff of Jet also had a tough time trying to pacify angry passengers while escorting them to the Air India shuttle.

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Meanwhile the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has asked Jet Airways to reposition its aircraft that was not likely to be in use to the remote bays or their hangar to smoothen operations near the terminal and apron areas.

According to a MIAL spokesperson,two aircraft were removed this afternoon while the rest could not be removed as the Air Traffic Control (ATC) refused permission as cross-runway operations were on.

First published on: 09-09-2009 at 05:00:35 am
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