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SpiceJet's 3-hour flight turns into 15-hour ordeal

NEW DELHI: What should have been a just under three-hour-long journey from Bengaluru to Delhi, turned out to be an over 15-hour and one-stop ordeal for passengers of SpiceJet’s flight SG-8720 on Friday night. The flight, which has a schedule departure time of 10 pm, took off around 11:30 pm, and then due to a snag diverted to Nagpur where passengers allege they were kept holed up inside the Boeing 737 all night long before an alternate aircraft took them to their destination, Delhi.

“The flight landed in Nagpur one hour later (after leaving Bengaluru). (SpiceJet) kept us locked in the plane for six hours and then left us inside the airport for 4 hours after that. At 10 am (Saturday) they have boarded us in a new plane and again we are again locked in the plane for the last 1.5 hours and still haven’t taken off,” said a passenger on the flight.

“I had to be checked by a doctor as I found everything too stressful. Passengers lost their tempers and are trying to get out of the plane which they are not allowing. SpiceJet has been uncooperative throughout,” he added.

On its part, a SpiceJet spokesman said: “SG flight 8720 operating Bengaluru to Delhi was diverted to Nagpur due to a technical issue… the aircraft made a normal landing in Nagpur and not an emergency landing. Passengers were served refreshments at Nagpur. An alternate aircraft was sent to Nagpur and the flight has departed for Delhi.”

Asked about the complaints of being kept inside the plane for a long time, SpiceJet sources say Nagpur is an “offline station” for the airline, which means it does not have flights there. Airlines say making arrangements at such places can sometimes take longer as they do not have their own staff there.

Frequent flyers say airlines should allow passengers to get off the aircraft in such situations, especially in extreme weather conditions and when no immigration issue is involved on domestic flights, so that they can wait inside terminals in relatively less discomfort.

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