New Delhi: Several passengers were made to wait hours at the Mumbai airport, including many inside aircraft, as heavy rains continued to lash Mumbai for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, throwing life completely out of gear in the maximum city.
Irate passengers took to social media to voice their woes about the hardships being encountered faced due to delays and cancellations.
It appeared that the airline staff were ill prepared to handle such situation at one of the busiest airports in the country.
"@IndiGo6E Stuck in plane 6E 998 at Mumbai airport last 2 hrs after landing. Pls update what's status of Mumbai airport. Old people n kids are suffering. Pilot has no info. Pls act. @MumbaiPolice," said Peeyush Chandan in a Twitter post.
Another Tweeter user Bhoomika Dattani said on Twitter, "My husband is in the indigo flight stuck past 1 hour which is waiting for the ladder to come so passengers can go home. Indigo/mumbai airport very bad BCP plan on your part. Poor Mumbaikars have to suffer for their poor planing."
Many passengers were stranded at the terminal as their flights were either delayed or cancelled. Some complained that the airlines didn't provide any update on their flights, leaving passengers to only speculate on their situation.
"@IndiGo6E pls update the flight status 6E 248...nobody is telling us here at Mumbai airport," said Abhishek Gupta on the micro-blogging platform.
Another Twitter user Sachin Sharma said "Stranded at Mumbai Airport. No prior information. Further delay UK 940 Mumbai Delhi @airvistara #MumbaiRain."
Large number of airline and airport staff couldn't reach the airport due to rains, leading to airlines scrambling for manpower, leading to further delays.
"@IndiGo6E passengers are strangled at Mumbai airport within the flight and not allowed to come out - flight 6E 191 due to STAFF issues. This is outrageous & worst ever customer service. Not acceptable. #indigoairlines need immediate action," said Lakshay Nijhawan in a twitter post.
A spokesperson of Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL), which operates the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) didn't share the number of flights cancelled, delayed or diverted at the airport on Wednesday.
On Wednesday evening IndiGo issued a statement saying that owing to the non-stop heavy rains, close to 30 flights have been grounded and that due to waterlogging of roads and the subsequent traffic jams, the ground support staff, cabin crew and pilots have not been able to reach the airport on time.
Closer to Wednesday night, the airline issued another statement, ""As a result of the unprecedented non-stop rains in Mumbai, the entire airport operations have been affected. The remaining flights that were held back are now gradually departing. As of 00:10 hrs, a total of 3 flights have departed. The operations are slowly, but gradually getting back to normal," the airline said in its updated statement.
Heavy rains splashed across Mumbai and its suburbs on Wednesday leading the weather department to issue 'red alert' for the city and adjoining areas.
Out of the 150 weather stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), around 100 recorded over 200 mm rainfall in last 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.