Etihad apologises for 12-hour delay on Abu Dhabi runway
Saturday saw Etihad passengers stranded on the tarmac for 12 hours in Abu Dhabi after an Etihad Airways flight was unable to take off on schedule due to a runway closure caused by the fog.
Passengers bound for San Francisco say they were offered a single meal aboard the 16-hour flight from Abu Dhabi. Several passengers claim that their luggage had failed to arrive in the American city.
Navin Varma, who stated he was one of the passengers on board flight EY183, took to Twitter saying: “Imagine your first international flight without water on board, one proper meal on a 16-hour flight, five bags lost or delayed.”
Mike Vladimer, another passenger aboard the EY183 stated he, along with several others on the flight, had their 28-hour journey complicated further when they had a single agent to assist them with their inquiries.
He posted a picture, saying: “Here's a photo of those 30 plus people waiting for just one agent to help them. The line is super long. I’ve been on your plane for 30 hours. I’m not waiting anymore.”
Vladimer’s ordeal, however, ended on Sunday when his lost luggage was returned.
Another passenger, Abhishek Jain, said: “What’s mind boggling is how many errors the San Francisco flight had, including meals, communication and basic human necessities.”
Passengers such as Mittal Parekh are questioning why they were not allowed to deplane.
Etihad has tendered an apology to its passengers, adding that they were “provided with refreshments” and “updated about the reasons for the rolling delay caused by the extreme weather conditions.”
A spokesperson further said: “Etihad Airways has apologised to passengers on board flight EY183 to San Francisco, on Saturday 3 January, for the significant delay they experienced during the unprecedented fog disruption at Abu Dhabi Airport.
“EY183 was one of the flights most affected by the runway closure at 2.30am and the subsequent congestion and significant delays which impacted all airlines.”
The spokesperson continues: “During the time on the ground, awaiting permission to take-off, passengers were provided with refreshments and were updated about the reasons for the rolling delay caused by the extreme weather conditions.
“The passengers remained on the aircraft as all efforts were being made to secure a new departure time.”
The airline further stated the delay was compounded by the requirement to replace the aircraft’s ultra-long haul operating crew who had exceeded their flight time limitations.
“The aircraft pushed-back at 2.15pm local time and took-off a short time later,” the spokesperson added. “Etihad Airways always strives to deliver the highest standards of customer service and on this occasion our ability to do so was impacted by circumstances which were largely beyond our control.”
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