Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Times of India
The Times of India
Saurabh Sinha | TNN

9-hour Lufthansa Frankfurt-Bengaluru nonstop turns into 2-day harrowing journey for over 300 flyers

NEW DELHI: A direct flight from Frankfurt to Bengaluru takes about nine hours. But for over 300 passengers who boarded Lufthansa’s LH-754 nonstop for this sector Tuesday (Oct 18) at 1.05 pm, the journey took just under two days — with a 30-hour plus stopover in Istanbul. They finally took off from Istanbul at 4.30 am and landed in Bengaluru at 1.43 pm Thursday (Oct 20, all timings local).

The jumbo jet had to be diverted to Istanbul on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on board and the airline rightly decided to go to the nearest airport, Istanbul.

But the delay in then flying to Bengaluru from Türkiye caused by a series of technical reasons, some beyond Lufthansa’s control like getting immigration authorities to allow these passengers without the country’s visas to leave the airport for landslide hotels as the transit hotel was not big enough for stranded passengers of a nearly full Boeing 747, left flyers fuming.

They finally took off from Istanbul at 4.30 am and landed in Bengaluru at 1.43 pm Thursday (all timings local).

Ricky Kej, winners of two Grammy Awards, was also on this flight. “Can’t believe how Lufthansa takes Indian customers for granted. (LH-754) flight landed (Oct 18) 7 pm in Istanbul for medical emergency.… 27 hours - still stranded in Istanbul Airport…. 380 passengers, mainly Indian, are treated as homeless. No hotel, no lounge, no access to luggage. Over 31 hours now... Still stranded in Istanbul. Thanks to the utter disregard of Indian passengers by Lufthansa. Still not even a statement, or any info from them. Zero accountability. Shows how much they care. Two nights now without a bed, no access to luggage, etc,” Kej said in a series of Tweets from his handle @rickykej during the long hours spent at Istanbul airport.

“It was shocking to see that a reputed carrier as Lufthansa had no standard operating procedure in place to deal with this situation. I would like to know how Lufthansa will compensate all 300 plus passengers for the atrocious and unacceptable experience on flight LH-754,” another passenger, Roy Soumen, Tweeted from his handle @soumenr79 after reaching Bengaluru on Thursday.

Explaining the delay, a Lufthansa spokesperson said on Thursday: “For safety reasons, the oxygen cylinders used to treat the medical emergency had to be replaced before continuing the flight. Unfortunately, this took more time than originally expected. Additionally, the flight crew exceeded its legally permitted duty time due to the circumstances.… We deeply regret the circumstances.”

Almost none of the passengers on LH-754 had a Türkiye visa. The transit hotel at the airport, which can be accessed by passengers without visa to enter the country, was not big enough to accommodate the nearly full load of the jumbo jet.

The Indian consulate is learnt to have intervened on behalf of the passengers to secure permission to be allowed access to landslide hotels.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.