Around 20 to 25 students were left stranded after the cancellation of Air India flight AI 186 from Vancouver to Delhi on July 2.
Describing their ordeal, the University of British Columbia (UBC) students mentioned that the flight was initially scheduled to depart from Vancouver airport at around 10:15 a.m. on July 2 but was rescheduled twice and eventually cancelled.
One of the students, speaking anonymously, stated, "On July 1, around 9 p.m., we received an email from Air India informing us of a five-hour delay, and the new departure time was set for 2:45 p.m. However, when we arrived at the airport, we discovered that the flight had been delayed for an additional hour."
"We were waiting at the closed boarding gate at the new departure time of 3:45 p.m.," she continued. "But a fellow passenger informed us around 3:40 p.m that the flight had been cancelled, and there was no official announcement."
The students, along with other passengers, subsequently reached out to Air India ground staff. "They (ground staff) provided us with an email address and instructed us to send our expense receipts to the airport for reimbursement," said another student.
"The ground staff also assured us that Air India would refund our ticket costs and other expenses. However, when we requested written confirmation, the staff refused, stating that they could only give oral assurances as there was no guarantee," she said, adding that they don’t know if their ticket amount will be refunded or not.
The students claimed that they had sent an email requesting a refund for their tickets but had not received any response from Air India. As a result of the flight cancellation, a group of 10 UBC students, who had already surrendered their rented accommodations, are now staying at a friend's three-bedroom house.
"We each have three bags, and 10 of us are sharing this accommodation because we don't have the funds to book another flight or rent another house," the students explained.
By the time of filing of this report, there was no response from Air India despite repeated calls and messages.