A row has erupted after eight passengers claim they were tricked into getting off an IndiGo Airlines flight before it departed from Bengaluru bound for Chennai.
The passengers claim that they were already in their seats on the aircraft due to operate IndiGo flight 6E478 bound for Chennai on November 19, 2023.
However, before the aircraft departed the gate at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru (BLR), the passengers claimed that ground staff from the airline told the group that it was being canceled as the flight only had eight passengers booked to travel on it. However, another IndiGo flight was departing for the same destination a short time later, and they had all been re-booked to travel on the alternative flight, and boarding passes were ready to collect in the terminal.
However, having been offloaded from their booked flight, the passengers claim that there was, in fact, no alternative booking for them to travel on any other flight and that the airline left them stranded at Bengaluru Airport with no accommodation either.
Reacting to the furor, IndiGo issued a statement in which it apologized for the inconvenience caused to the passengers. In the statement, the airline clarified that the ground staff had made arrangements for the passengers to take an onward flight to Chennai, but the passengers were unable to board their replacement flight due to a “lack of time.”
Responding to allegations that the eight passengers were not provided any accommodation by IndiGo, the airline said it had offered them overnight accommodation and a reservation on the first available flight to Chennai. However, some of the passengers chose to stay in the airport lounge.
“On November 19, 2023, flight 6E 478 was operating from Amritsar to Chennai via Bengaluru with eight transit passengers onboard,” said a statement issued by IndiGo. “Due to the delay of the incoming aircraft from Amritsar, these passengers were unable to board the onward flight to Chennai at the Bengaluru Airport.”
“IndiGo ground staff made every possible effort to help passengers make the connection, but due to lack of time, they were unable to board the aircraft. IndiGo staff offered the passengers overnight accommodation and booking on the next available flight, but certain passengers chose to stay in the airport lounge. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to the passengers,” it stated.
Further investigation by Indian authorities has revealed that two out of the eight passengers were taken to a hotel located eight miles (13 km) from the airport, while the six remaining passengers elected to stay within the airport terminal overnight. IndiGo confirms that all the passengers successfully flew to Chennai the following morning.