Pune Woman Recounts Family's Dubai Airport Nightmare: 'My Parents Slept On Floor For 2 Days'

Pune Woman Recounts Family's Dubai Airport Nightmare: 'My Parents Slept On Floor For 2 Days'

A group of senior citizens from Pune and Mumbai, set to embark on a European vacation, found themselves stranded at Dubai International Airport due to incessant rain and flooding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its neighbouring countries.

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Friday, April 19, 2024, 02:52 PM IST
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Pune Woman Recounts Family's Dubai Airport Nightmare: 'My Parents Slept On Floor For 2 Days' | Sourced

A group of senior citizens from Pune and Mumbai, set to embark on a European vacation, found themselves stranded at Dubai International Airport due to incessant rain and flooding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its neighbouring countries. Among their worried family members was Poonam Deshpande, a full-stack developer, who tried her best to assist them, including airing their grievances on X (formerly Twitter), but there was very little she could do while sitting in Pune.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Deshpande described the ordeal. She said, "Six of my family members, including my parents and in-laws, had booked a Europe trip via Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd. Their flight from Mumbai to Dubai was scheduled for 4:30am on April 17, with a connecting flight to London at 8:30am. However, delays began in Mumbai, and by the time they reached Dubai at 1:30pm, the connecting flight had departed."

"At the airport, there was absolutely no space to sit. Neither were the senior citizens given any priority nor were the women. For two days, they slept on the floor, using towels and napkins. They also had a limited stock of medicines in their cabin bags, which further exacerbated their problems. In all this, Emirates and its ground staff were completely unsupportive. In some cases, when people argued with them, they called the police and got them arrested. My parents and the others in the group were very scared to raise their voices. When my father politely sought information about their flight, they simply ignored him," she added.

Today, two days later, when the situation has eased slightly, the group was put on a flight to Paris, where they would resume their European trip. "Even then, they were made to shuttle between terminals, despite being senior citizens with health issues like hypertension. How could they be subjected to this?" Deshpande questioned.

Asked if the situation could have been avoided and if the senior citizens could have had a more comfortable journey, Zelam Chaubal, Director, Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, said, "This was a natural catastrophe. Thousands of people were stranded at the airport. It was the first time that our company had encountered such kind of a situation. There is no doubt that people have suffered, but there wasn't much we could have done from our end. This has caused a huge loss to the company too. In fact, we even assured travellers they could eat anything at the airport and would be reimbursed."

Emirates could not be reached at the time of publishing this story.

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