Harrowing tale aboard Bahrain Air flight

Passengers say they were stuck in the transfer point for at least another hour before authorities allowed them some food and water. (AGENCY)

Few knew that a routine flight from Dubai to Bahrain last weekend would end up being one of the most terrifying experiences, with passengers stating they feared for their lives and are now threatening legal action against Bahrain Air for placing them in such peril.

On Saturday, April 30, passengers who were checking in at Dubai Airport Terminal 1 for their BN324 flight, departing at 9.20pm, were allegedly told that their flight had been cancelled, without any further explanations given.

Speaking with Emirates 24|7, passenger Jayesh Bhatia said: “I was booked on the 9.20pm flight but at time of check-in, I was duly informed that the flight had been scrapped and we would clubbed with the passengers on the 9.55 Bahrain Air flight. Left with no choice, we had to comply.”

Passenger Fatima Alshaoala confirmed the same, adding: “An hour after takeoff, one of the pilots announced we were approaching Bahrain for landing; that is when the nightmare began.”

She recalled: “The plane bucked and dipped, throwing passengers around despite being buckled in. The aircraft would gain altitude sharply and just as suddenly lose altitude at sharp angles. It was insane.”

“People were already screaming on the flight and crying in fear, when the pilot took a loop and decided to make yet another attempt at landing. This time, the turbulence was 10-times worse,” revealed Bhatia, saying that by the end of the second loop, people were openly crying and praying out loud.

“Finally, the pilot made an announcement over the PA system that due to bad weather, the flight was being diverted to Doha.”

Alshoala said that during those harrowing moments, passengers were in the dark of what was happening.

“My friend was crying next to me and while trying to calm her down, I was trying to curb my own panic. We just didn’t know and no one made any sort of announcement to placate passengers.”

When Bahrain Air was approached over the incident, a staff member confirmed an incident had occurred with turbulence causing the flight to divert to Doha, but no other details were forthcoming.

According to passenger reports, the flight landed approximately 11.45pm UAE time in Doha with a few people having fainted on the flight, while another lady suffering from palpitations.

“We got ready to leave, when the pilot came over the PA system again to say that Qatar airport authorities were not allowing passengers to disembark. We were duly informed that due to bad weather in Bahrain even flights such as KLM, Etihad Airways and Gulf Air had been diverted to Doha. We were told to wait patiently and another attempt would be made at landing in Bahrain shortly,” said Bhatia.

Bahrain Air was contacted by Emirates 24|7 via email to respond to these allegations and a reply stating that the email had been received was sent, but no further response has been forthcoming since.

Passengers say they were stuck in the transfer point for at least another hour before authorities allowed them some food and water.

“Finally, at around 3.30am (UAE time), we were told a 7am Gulf Air flight or a 9am and 5pm Bahrain Air flights would transport us passengers back to Bahrain,” he said. “Of the 80-odd passengers, 50 flew back on Gulf Air, while 25 stayed back in Qatar and around six had flown back with the original Bahrain Air flight.”

Several passengers have already met with a lawyer yesterday to pursue the matter legally, as they are extremely ‘dissatisfied and disappointed’ with the way Bahrain Air handled the whole incident.

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