Flight cancellation irks stranded passengers at RGIA

Stranded passengers also shared concerns of Covid-19 infections at the airport due to sudden stalling

HYDERABAD: Several passengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad took to Twitter to share their plights after their flights from Hyderabad to different destinations in the United States were cancelled or rescheduled on Wednesday due to the rollout of 5G services in the US, which caused disruptions in flight operations.

The RGIA police said as many as 70 passengers were stranded at the airport on Wednesday after the cancellation.

“#FlyAI: Due to deployment of 5G communications in USA, our
operations to USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from 19th January 2022. Update in this regard will be informed shortly.” (sic) tweeted the official handle of the Air India’s social media platform.

The airline said in another tweet that due to deployment of the 5G communications in the US, it would "not be able to operate flights of January 19 on the Delhi-JFK-Delhi, Delhi-San Francisco-Delhi, Delhi-Chicago-Delhi and Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai routes”. “The flight from Delhi to Washington DC on January 19 will operate as per schedule,” it said.

“Firstly none of your call centers work or have no clue of what’s happening. Please post the next steps. You guys have canceled my
domestic first leg as well and no clue when flying back to India. PLEASE
RESPOND!!” (sic) tweeted a passenger.

Stranded passengers also shared concerns of Covid-19
infections at the airport due to sudden stalling. “this isn’t what i
signed up for, it’s 2 am ffs air india do better! i am travelling alone, with no where to crash and the last thing i want rn is covid. literally an aviation crisis, never gonna travel air india again,” (sic) tweeted another passenger in reply to the post by Air India.

With the rescheduling, many were also seen raising questions
to Air India on Twitter, asking what would happen to the RT-PCR reports that were time-bound and whether the airlines would reimburse the costs, including of that hotel stays for those who had no other option.

The US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on January 14 said that 5G interference with the aircraft's radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway. The C-band service, which offers faster speeds and broader coverage, was due to be turned on from Wednesday. Apart from Air India, several other airlines announced they were cancelling flights into the US over the issue of deployment of the 5G service.

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