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Won't Fly You Home Unless Y'all Pay Us 20,000 Pound - Airline To Passengers

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Won’t fly you home unless Y’all pay us 20,000 pound – Airline to passengers

AIRLINE “Austrian carrier Comtel Air”  resorts to extortion to cover-up their debt and holds passengers at ransom, 

is it not like an AIRLINE-form of   HIJACKING PASSENGERS?

Read complete article,

 

Passengers on plane from India to Birmingham forced into £20k whip-round for fuel after they’re told ‘pay up or you won’t get home’

By ANDY DOLAN

Last updated at 12:50 AM on 17th November 2011


 

British airline passengers were forced to stage a giant whip-round and hand over £20,000 in cash after being ‘held to ransom’ by their airline.

More than 180 were left stranded on their Boeing 757 when cabin crew announced during a refuelling stop that the Austrian carrier Comtel Air had ‘run out of money’.

The plane from Amritsar, in India, was on a stopover at Vienna en route to Birmingham. Passengers were told that the flight would continue only if 23,400 euros (£20,005) was handed over. Otherwise they and their luggage would be removed from the aircraft.

Whip-round: Furious passengers were told to gather £20,000 in cash between them to get back to Birmingham after enduring a delay in Vienna because of Comtel Air’s unpaid bills

Police were called in when they refused to get off. A six-hour stand-off ended only when passengers were escorted to cashpoint machines. These eventually ran out of money and many of those on board had no funds anyway.

 

 

     

    But the sum was eventually raised through a series of promises and IOUs. Passengers said it was feared that another 600 travellers on four planned flights were stranded in India. But details were sketchy last night as few of the companies involved were returning calls.

    Comtel Air specialised in executive aviation and owned a Dassault Falcon 2000 business jet. It started the commercial route from the UK to Amritsar only last month, using the leased Boeing 757.

    Luxury flying: Comtel Air, the carrier responsible for the flight, may have gone bust

    Executive travel: A Comtel Air plane on the tarmac at Birmingham Airport

    Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors a day – more than the Taj Mahal.

    Gurhej Kaur, a blind 80-year-old from Handsworth Wood, was one of the passengers who spent more than 15 hours on the plane while her medication was in the hold.

    A 34-year-old relative, Dalvinder Batra, from Oldbury, said: ‘It is absolutely disgusting. There are still people stuck out there. We have been told that the company has gone bust.’ Tarlochan Singh, 57, from Wolverhampton, had been in India for three weeks. He said: ‘They wanted all the money in cash.

    ‘Everyone was furious, that is why we had the sit-in. We spent more than six hours in Vienna. Nobody has told us anything.’ 

    Held to ransom: The passengers were told they could not complete their flights to Birmingham unless they stumped up the cash, despite having already paid up to £500 for their tickets

    Stop-over: The passengers were told they would not be able leave Vienna International Airport on the Comtel Air flight unless they paid an outstanding bill before leaving

    Satbarg Nijjar was collecting his wife Gurdab Kaur Nijjar after a four-week holiday. The 60-year-old, from Coventry, said: ‘They have been told that they have not paid landing fees or taxes and the company is in financial trouble.’

    Company director Kamal Paul, 35, from Kettering, said he was one of a group of ten travelling to the Punjab for a wedding. They were due to return on four different flights but his was the only one that made it home. ‘Our friends are still stuck in Amritsar. They are now starting to resort to other carriers to get home. I’ve spoken to one friend who has just paid £300 for a BMI flight back to London.’ 

    Many of the passengers bought their tickets through Takhar Travel, a travel agent in Smethwick, West Midlands. Police stood guard outside its office last night as angry customers arrived to demand explanations.

     
     

    Stranded and made to pay: (Left and seated) Gurhej Kaurm who is blind, with her family, who were stuck at Vienna airport, as were Charnjit Dehal and son Ranbir, 33, both from Wolverhampton, pictured right

    Comtel Air’s website was yesterday ‘down for maintenance’. A message told customers to contact Bhupinder Kandra, the firm’s director of air scheduled services.

    But the office number posted for him on the site was yesterday described as ‘not listed’, according to a recorded message. Contacted on his mobile phone, Mr Kandra told the Daily Mail he was in a ‘crisis meeting’ and promised to send a statement, although one did not materialise.

    A spokesman for Birmingham Airport said: ‘Comtel Air has been contracted by a number of UK travel companies to facilitate flights to Amritsar, via Vienna. Comtel Air has a contractual arrangement with an approved airline to operate this service.

    ‘Clearly, we are very concerned and understand the distress that this is causing. We are urgently investigating the matter to get some clarity going forward.’ He said the airline is registered in Austria and not within the jurisdiction of the Civil Aviation Authority. ‘Anyone due to travel with the airline is advised to contact the travel company they have booked the flights with.

    ‘Those passengers overseas need to ascertain whether their travel arrangements are protected by the ATOL scheme.’

     

    Destination: The passengers were flying to Birmingham International Airport but had to contribute to a whip-round to complete the journey

     
     

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2062232/Comtel-Air-passengers-forced-20k-whip-round-pay-fuel.html

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2062232/Comtel-Air-passengers-forced-20k-whip-round-pay-fuel.html#ixzz1dvIdTElz

    Comments:

     

    AIRLINE “Austrian carrier Comtel Air”  resorts to extortion to cover-up their debt and holds passengers at ransom, 

    is it not like an AIRLINE-form of   HIJACKING PASSENGERS?

    Well they ought to be sued in courts for justice!



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      • sjsrana

        AIRLINE FIASCO
        Comtel officials booked for fraud
        PK Jaiswar/TNS

        Amritsar, November 21
        Richard Slucks and Thomas Keptzky, CEO and Director, respectively, of the Comtel Air, which started a flight connecting Amritsar and Vienna last month, have been booked for fraud as they failed to pay dues of local hotels.

        The airport police has booked 11 officials of airlines along with officials of Indo-Thai Airport Management Services (ITAMS) Pvt Ltd. They have been slapped fraud charges by a local hotel owner, Vikas Handa, for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 41 lakh.

        Amongst others who have been booked include England-based Bhupinder Kandra, Harry Sidhu (both directors), Jasbir Maan (director), Rajwant Singh (station manager), Nitin Ghai (Comtel Air), Rakesh Jain, president, Shawinder Singh, manager, PC Sinha, COO, and Anil Mittal, GM of ITAMS.

        Vikas Handa, owner of Sanjog Palace located at Court Road here, said the ITAMS, a private ground services provider company, instructed him to make arrangements for the accommodation of about 370 passengers as their scheduled flights were cancelled owing to certain reasons on November 12 and 13.

        “I arranged for their accommodation, but they never made the payment for it, said Handa.

        http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20111122/nation.htm#10

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