- Cancellation of flight to Amritsar, via Delhi, caused misery to 230 people
- One family, who paid £480 each for their ticket, missed a wedding
- Passengers ferried between hotels, and were angry with the 'chaos'
A family missed a wedding in India after they and other passengers had to wait more than 48 hours for a flight at Birmingham Airport.
More than 230 passengers had been due to fly out on Air India on Friday night but discovered their flight had been delayed due to a technical fault. But their frustration turned to misery when they were told their flight had then been cancelled completely.
More than 40 passengers then spent two nights in local hotels waiting for an Air India flight bound for Amritsar via Delhi. The delay meant some will miss a family wedding today, while another family will be unable to attend a funeral.
Sunny Rai, pictured on the far left, missed the wedding of a cousin after Air India cancelled his flight out of Birmingham. Pictured are fellow irate passengers
Sunny Rai, a 26-year-old trainee financial adviser from Smethwick, his mother Charanjit Kaur, 50, and 54-year-old father Balkar Singh, were looking forward to attending a cousin's wedding.
Instead, the weary family, who had nine suitcases and paid £480 each for their ticket, were still waiting for a flight last night.
Mr Rai said: 'I was at the airport and checked in at 5.30pm on Friday and they suspended us there and then. They said there was a technical issue and asked us to 'bear with us'.
'We hung around the Air India desk and were then told the flight had been cancelled. 'They told us to board a bus to the Holiday Inn just off the A45 near the airport.
'It was a full flight, about three or four coaches went to the Holiday Inn. 'I got on the fourth one but some passengers chose to go home.'
After the Friday cancellation the passengers gathered again at 9am the next morning in the lobby of the hotel.
Mr Rai added: 'I found out that the Air India people had come and said they would take 15 people to fly from Heathrow.
The Air India plane was found to have a technical fault on landing at Birmingham Airport which then led to the flight out to India being cancelled
'They served us lunch and when I came back Air India said there were now 50 seats available to fly from Heathrow and they had enough people.'
Mr Rai went back to Birmingham Airport via taxi and was surprised to learn that some of the passengers had got onto a flight due to leave that evening despite being told there was no space.
He claimed that when they went back to the Holiday Inn they were told that Air India had not paid for a room so they returned to the airport where they were taken to the Novotel Hotel instead.
Mr Rai said: 'It was chaos. There is no way we are going to make it.' Kam Singh, aged 32, from Coventry, said his parents had also been travelling to a wedding and had been left stranded.
The Singhs were travelling to India to attend a week-long wedding that begins today, but the family feared if they did not get a flight by last night they would miss the start.
Some passengers were stranded at Birmingham Airport for 48 hours, meaning many missed appointments
'They were meant to fly out on Friday and they were told that a stone had hit the plane - there had been some sort of technical fault - so the plane could not depart,' their son claimed.
He said the service they had received from Air India had been inadequate, despite spending £1,200 on the flights.
'Even when they transported people from the airport to the hotel there was no help with luggage,' he said.
'My father has got arthritis and he had a heart bypass a few years ago, and he had to lift four cases into the hotel.
'They were told they were being sent to London for a flight but midway through the journey they were told that plane was now full.'
The Singhs hoped to leave on a flight last night, though they had been warned it too was delayed by six hours until 2am this morning.
An Air India spokesman apologised for the inconvenience. He said around 233 passengers had been affected, with 42 still awaiting a flight late last night.
The spokesman said: 'There was a technical glitch because of which the flight got grounded.
'Unfortunately the challenge was we didn't have any seats on alternate carriers, all other flights were full.
'So as and when we were given seats on alternate services, we were flying them out.
'We are really sorry and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience, but this was an unfortunate situation.
'Safety is of paramount importance and we cannot take any chances..'