Passengers ‘forced’ to pay pilots to complete trip

2011-11-17 13:23

London – Passengers on board a flight from the Indian city of Amritsar said today they were forced to collect money on board the plane to fund the remainder of their trip back to Britain.

Those on board said they were “held to ransom” for six hours on the runway in the Austrian capital Vienna after the flight with Austrian airline Comtel Air from Amritsar stopped to refuel.

Passengers said they were told they had to hand over £20 000 (R257 000) to complete the journey to Birmingham in the English Midlands.

More than 180 passengers, who should have arrived in Birmingham on Saturday, finally reached the city late on Tuesday, according to the Birmingham Mail newspaper.

Elderly women and children were among the passengers.

One passenger, Dalvinder Batra, told the paper: “It is absolutely disgusting. There are still people stuck out there.”

Ranbir Dehal said: “We were escorted to the cash point to take money out. They said there was a deficit of nearly €24 000 and they gave us receipts.”

Reena Rindi, who was travelling with her two-year-old daughter, told Channel 4 News: “We wanted to go home. We’d been stranded for about three to four days. Who was going to take us home?”

She said passengers agreed to pay so they could fly to Birmingham and added: “We all got together, took our money out of purses – £130.

“The children under two went free. If we didn’t have the money they were making us go one by one outside in Vienna to get the cash out.”

Konrad Bhupinder, managing director of Comtel Air, blamed the tour operator Skyjet, which reserved the flight tickets, for the problem.

“We only organise flights if the tickets have been paid for,” he said, adding that in this case Skyjet had not paid the airline for the flights.

The flight had been due to take off on Saturday but was delayed to Tuesday because of a conflict between Skyjet and Comtel Air, which had hired the plane and the crew from a Spanish company, Mint Airways.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.