12 hours at airport / Our first flight cancelation

25 Mar 2018

Its been almost 2 year and this is our 96th flight with our baby and this is first time we faced flight delay / cancelation.

We were scheduled to travel on Air India from Bangkok to Delhi and arrived at the airport on time. ┬áCheckin went smooth and there were long queue on fast track immigration which consumed around 45 minutes of time. It was boarding time and we went directly to the gate to find that boarding wasn’t started yet. Departure time was at 08:50 and at 09:00 they announced 30 minutes delay due to technical problem.

We were thinking to go to the lounge as it wasn’t far from gate but decided to stay. They suddenly announced boarding at 09:10 and gates were closed at 09:40. At this time, captain announced further delay of 15 minutes due to traffic at Bangkok airport.

Again after 10 minutes, Captain came on board to announce that there are emergency lights on in some rows of economy class and we can’t take off till the issue is fixed and we are opening gates again for engineers to come in and check.

They checked around 2 hours and then announced to deplane, we were taken to business class lounge where no information was given.

BFS handles Air India flights in Bangkok and they know nothing when it comes to delay / cancelation because I think they do not have any authority to take any decision.

Air India country manager came into the lounge and he was trying to call people in India and trying to arrange hotels etc for passengers. He wasn’t sure about the flight status yet but at around 14:00 they announced cancelation and he said that he is trying to arrange transportation and hotel for passengers.

When we told him that we do not need hotel because we can go to our home, he took our names and promised to call us with updated flight schedule and said that transportation charges to/from airport will be refunded and our bags will be waiting at the belt.

We left the lounge along with other crew members to find that we can’t go through immigration because immigration need to cancel entry stamps which took around 45 mins.

Once out of immigration, it took again more than 1 hour to get bags on the belt.

Overall, It took 12 hours since we left home and arrived back. BFS did extremely poor job while Air India manager could do better than this.

I was not sure that Air India will call me and I could find seats on next day flight and got new tickets issued from a travel agent which were slightly expensive than previous tickets.

Air India did call me at 10:00 PM and I told them that I brought new tickets and sent an email next day to claim the difference which they declined on the basis that they never told me to buy new tickets and I could use same tickets but the point was that they booked my same tickets on the same flight which was delayed / cancelled and left next day at 13:30 while I wanted to leave in morning 8:40 flight.

They did refund me transportation cost from/to airport.

I believe that they should refund the cost of the tickets as well but I am very poor when it comes to follow up little things.

I do enjoy flying on Air India and continue to fly with them.

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