A group of Srinagar-bound air passengers alleged on Sunday that Air India left them in lurch at the Delhi airport "without any plausible reason". One of the 180 intending flyers, Azhar Lone, said the airline at Delhi airport told them that their flight was an "additional one which stands cancelled".
"They told us this after asking us to wait for hours. Later, they asked us to opt for a refund," Lone said, alleging that the airline lacks "ethics and professionalism and is doomed on the financial front because of its lackadaisical approach".
"The airline officials are telling us that they will reschedule our flight in 14 days. We are told to take refund of tickets we had bought for Rs 5000 each, and then charged Rs 20000 each for same flight next day. If this is not what you call minting money, what else it is?"
Another passenger who identified herself as DrInsha said they are continuously facing the issue of cancellation of tickets they had purchased on low rates and "then asked to go for refund and buy new tickets which cost us four times more".
"The staff (at Delhi airport) did not even bother to let us know about the so-called cancellation via text message or a call. Weather is fine right now and all other flights are operating, but we are still made to suffer," she said.
"I was here for a conference, I have other important tasks to attend to back home, but I'm forced to buy new tickets for hefty sums from another carrier," she said.
When contacted, an Air India official, who wished not to be named as he wasn't authorised to speak to the press, cited "runway issue" for the flight cancellation.
"There was some operation problem and that is why the flight was cancelled," the official claimed, without elaborating anything further.