British Airways passengers told to wait for eight days at Mumbai airport after connecting flight left without them

Those stranded include children with special needs as airline officials alleged to 'disappear'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dozens of British Airways passengers may have to wait for eight days for a plane after a late connecting flight left them stranded at Mumbai airport.

The 38 holidaymakers, including children with special needs, had flown from Goa to Mumbai on a delayed Air India flight, and were due to fly back to London Heathrow with British Airways.

But the British Airways plane did not wait for the connection, leaving the passengers stranded at the terminal and sitting on the floor.

Passengers took to social media to describe a dysfunctional state of affairs at the airport, reporting shouting matches between British Airways and Indian officials over who was to blame.

Airline representatives are also alleged to have "disappeared" at key moments in the passengers' ordeal.

“Kids and special needs passengers sleep on floor. British Airways officials have disappeared,” tweeted musician Sean Read, one of the stranded passengers.

Sandi Dunn, from Hackney, London, whose daughter Lisa is one of those stranded, told the MailOnline website: "BA staff were literally shouting at Air India staff over what had happened.

"Now everyone has left them there after telling them they might be stuck there for eight days because all the flights are overbooked."

Mumbai airport runway and terminal building from the air

Insult was added to injury after seven passengers were apparently offered seats on a Turkish Airlines flight, but no official from British Airways was around to accept the offer.

He said passengers had been offered “no hotel, no food, no flight” by either the airport or the airline.

Tia Fisher, an English teacher forced to sleep on the floor at the airport, tweeted that passengers had been the victim of a “total cock up”.

“No response from British Airways yet and BA staff in Mumbai airport just went home. Desperate for help and sanity here,” she said.

A spokesperson for British Airways told the Independent: "We are doing all we can to assist customers who missed their connection to our flight from Mumbai to London.

"In order to get them on their way as quickly as possible we have booked a number of customers onto flights with other airlines,  and we are working to rebook those remaining onto the next available flights."

A further spokesperson from BA later approached the Independent  to update that passengers had now been booked into flights of various airlines leaving by Tuesday afternoon.