Up to 25 Indian students stranded at Vancouver airport after Air India cancels flight to Delhi

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU–

Up to 25 Indian students were left stranded at Canada’s Vancouver airport following Air India’s cancellation of flight AI 186 to Delhi on July 2.

University of British Columbia (UBC) students said the flight was scheduled to depart from Vancouver airport at 10.15 a.m. local time on July 2, but was rescheduled twice and eventually cancelled.

One of the students, speaking anonymously, said, “On July 1, around 9 p.m., we received an email from Air India informing us of a five-hour delay, and the new departure time was set for 2.45 p.m. However, when we arrived at the airport, we discovered that the flight had been delayed for an additional hour.”

“We were waiting at the closed boarding gate at the new departure time of 3:45 p.m. But a fellow passenger informed us around 3:40 p.m that the flight had been cancelled, but there was no official announcement.”

The students, along with other passengers, subsequently reached out to Air India ground staff. “They (ground staff) provided us with an email address and instructed us to send our expense receipts to the airport for reimbursement,” said another student.

“The ground staff also assured us that Air India would refund our ticket costs and other expenses. However, when we requested written confirmation, the staff refused, stating that they could only give oral assurances as there was no guarantee,” she said, adding that they don’t know if their ticket amount will be refunded or not.

The students claimed that they had sent an email requesting a refund for their tickets but had not received any response from Air India.

As a result of the flight cancellation, a group of 10 UBC students, who had already surrendered their rented accommodations, are now staying at a friend’s three-bedroom house.

“We each have three bags, and 10 of us are sharing this accommodation because we don’t have the funds to book another flight or rent another house,” the students explained.

Meanwhile, an Air India spokesperson said the passengers are being offered other alternative arrangements and support until they are Delhi-bound again.

“Air India AI186 scheduled to operate Vancouver-Delhi on July 2 had been rescheduled earlier but now stands cancelled, as a technical issue was detected in the operating aircraft. While the aircraft undergoes the necessary checks and repairs, we have re-accommodated some of our guests on flights operated by other airlines,” said the spokesperson.

“The rest of the guests are being offered other alternative arrangements and support until they are Delhi-bound again. We regret the inconvenience caused to our guests, but as always, ensuring the safety of all is our top priority,” the spokesperson added.

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