Airline leaves 30 passengers behind in India after travel agent mix-up

Incident comes 10 days after India's Go First Airways took off without 50 passengers

Scoot aircraft at Singapore's Changi airport. AFP
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Thirty passengers were left behind when a Singapore-based airline took off hours ahead of schedule from the northern Indian city of Amritsar following a mix-up with a travel agent.

India’s civil aviation authority has sought a report from budget airline Scoot after its flight, which was initially scheduled to depart at 7:55pm on Wednesday from Amritsar International Airport, took off five hours before time.

While angry passengers protested at the airport, the airline said it had informed passengers about the schedule change via email.

“Around 280 passengers were to travel to Singapore but 250 passengers were rescheduled, leaving 30 passengers behind,” an official at the Amritsar airport said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sought details from both Scoot and the airport authorities.

It is thought that the 30 passengers belonged to a group that had booked their flights through a travel agent who did not inform them about the flight's time change.

The incident comes just 10 days after a Go First Airways took off from Bengaluru in the south of India for the capital New Delhi without 50 passengers, who were waiting in one of the shuttle buses.

The passengers' boarding passes and bags had all been checked in.

They were later put on another flight that left after four hours.

There has been a series of freak incidents involving India's airlines in recent weeks, including two separate cases of male passengers allegedly urinating on women in the business class sections of Air India flights.

On Wednesday, the regulatory body ordered an investigation after a prominent politician and parliamentarian from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party allegedly opened the emergency door of a plane as it was taxiing before take-off.

The flight was delayed by more than two hours and the politician had to apologise for causing the “inconvenience.”

Updated: January 19, 2023, 10:39 AM