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January 10, 2010

Air passengers stranded as pilot’s duty hours were over!

     Visakhapatanam: At least 70 passengers of a Mumbai-bound Spicejet flight were left stranded at the Vishakhapatnam airport on Sunday after their flight failed to take off. After issuing boarding passes to the passengers, the Spicejet officials announced that the plane would not be able to take off in the absence of the pilot, who reportedly said his duty hours were over. The passengers of flight number SG-402 were a shocked lot to hear that they won't be able to get on their flight to Mumbai via Hyderabad after getting their boarding passes and having their luggage on board. An agitated passenger who was supposed to travel to Mumbai said the concerned officials should have informed them earlier and should have provided an alternate means to reach their destination. "The airlines and flight officials did not inform us about the cancellation of the flight. They did not provide us with any facilities. The reason was not informed to us, after hours of protests by the passengers they told us that there has been some technical difficulties due to which the flight has been cancelled," said Meena Sahu, a passenger. Despite repeated appeals for alternate arrangements, the Spicejet executives did not pay any heed to the plight of the harried passengers. Meanwhile, the President of Air Travellers Association of India , D Varada Reddy said the flight authorities should stop harassing the passengers at the last minute and provide adequate help to do the needy. "They (the flight operators) should stop exploiting the passengers in the last minute. This is what we on behalf of Air Travellers Association of India are fighting with the airlines," said D Varada Reddy, President of Air Travellers Association of India. The passengers were also told to either cancel their tickets and take their money back or fly only up to Hyderabad.
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