Stranded passengers forced to pay airline fuel bill

Source: TravelMole

Passengers on a flight from India to Britain claim they were forced to fork out more than $31,000 in cash to pay for fuel to allow the plane to complete the journey, UK media reports.

More than 180 passengers on a chartered Austrian Comtel Air flight from Amritsar to Birmingham were stranded on the tarmac in Vienna during a refuelling stop after being told the airline "ran out of cash to fund the last leg of the trip", London's Daily Telegraph reported.

Passengers said the airline then threatened to remove their luggage from the plane if they did not pay up.

The passengers, who reportedly paid about $780 each for their flight, refused to get off the plane in a six-hour standoff.

The dispute was finally resolved when Austrian police were called and the passengers were escorted to ATMs to withdraw cash.

Bhunpinder Kandra, director of passenger services for Comtel Air, told BBC News that "there may have been some operational problem" in Vienna but denied people were asked to pay towards more fuel.

But the Press Association reported him saying: "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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