Passengers paid £20,000 to complete journey
November 17th, 2011 by elisa

In an extraordinary story this week, passengers on a Comtel Air flight were asked to pay £20,000 to complete their journey from Amritsar in India to Birmingham as the airline had run out of money.

The passengers were told the situation during a scheduled fuel stop in Vienna. Initially they were told that as they did not have enough money to continue the journey, so they should all get off the plane, but the passengers refused. After a six-hour stand-off the airline agreed to take all 180 passengers to their destination, but only if they would pay the £20,000 cost. Police then escorted passengers to cash points to collect the money.

Many of the passengers said they felt “held to ransom” by the airline. One passenger said: “They wanted all the money in cash. Everyone was furious.”

A Birmingham Airport statement said that the company was registered in Austria, so was beyond the jurisdiction of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Bhunpinder Kandra, director of passenger services for Comtel Air, reportedly said: “I have heard what happened, it shouldn’t have happened, and I will investigate why it happened.

“The people who had to pay the money will receive a refund.”



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