Numerous passengers, the majority of whom were students, who made reservations to travel to the US on Thursday from places similar to Mumbai and Bengaluru had their flights offloaded and their reservations cancelled by Etihad Airways. The airline allegedly refused to rebook the students on other flights with departure dates in the coming days. Since semesters are about to begin, the students have no choice but to pay out nearly two lakh rupees for a last-minute, one-way ticket on other carriers.
The cheapest one-way flight from Mumbai to the US for travel this week started at Rs. 1.40 lakh, but these flights were almost 27 hours long. The majority of tickets cost over Rs 2 lakh. The Abu Dhabi-New York flight operated by Etihad followed the same route and used the same type of aircraft, the A350, for a nearly comparable flight time. Abu Dhabi’s floor temperature wasn’t higher than usual. But over the last two days, its flights have started leaving late. On August 2, and again on August 3, Etihad’s EY101 aircraft from Abu Dhabi to New York took off with a five- and two-hour delay, respectively. Only one hour was added to the Thursday flight’s delay.
In order to minimise the inconvenience to the impacted customers, Etihad claimed that its groups are reaching out to advise them about the refused boarding. “We regret any difficulty caused by this last-minute change, and we will be providing compensation to anyone affected,” it said, adding that affected passengers should call their contact centre or visit their website or mobile app.