Sikkim passengers
File image of Pakyong Airport in Sikkim Credit: Pankaj Dhungel

GANGTOK: A cancelled SpiceJet flight from Delhi Airport to Pakyong Airport in Sikkim has left 40 passengers stranded on Saturday. Passengers alleged that SpiceJet did not allow the passengers to board the plane.

One of the passengers, former Miss India and actress Pooja Chopra told ANI, “I and other passengers were stranded at Delhi airport since Morning (Saturday). The airline company was not ready to accommodate us. SpiceJet officials did not even provide accommodation to the stranded passengers nor any refreshments.”

Many passengers claimed to have medical or other emergencies, which eventually led to heated arguments with the airline officials. A SpiceJet official was quoted: “When the plane’s pilot is not going to Pakyong because of bad weather conditions there, how can the flight take off? Are you the pilot? Can you operate the flight?”

SpiceJet is the only airline service operating from the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. Speaking with EastMojo, SpiceJet station manager Sandip Narang asserted that October 9 had bad weather conditions in Sikkim. “The flights operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. There might have been a miscommunication of the day too, passengers come on a different date than their scheduled flight. It was planned cancellation due to weather. In October, we have cancelled only one flight that was on (October) 9.”

The passengers are getting a full refund or a flight to Bagdogra or the next bound flight to Sikkim, whatever the passenger opts for. “Most of the passengers opted to take the flight to Bagdogra, as they had made plans and bookings for a stay in Sikkim. If the weather is good, the flights will come and go. Apart from October 9, every other flight bound for Pakyong were able to land and fly back to Delhi from Sikkim’s airport,” shared Narang.

The airline official claimed, “We had no other reason apart from the weather, as with even 7 to 9 passengers on board, we take the flight to Sikkim. So far in October, passengers coming to Pakyong airport from Delhi are 154 commuters, and those bound for Delhi from Pakyong are 197 commuters for this month so far.”

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