Being stuck in transit between Chennai and Berlin for 36 hours made me think about everything that the Airline could have done better.
1. 30+ Flights couldn’t land in the hub airport owing to bad weather and landed in a nearby airport. The passengers were all stuck in the aircraft for over 5 hours with no food, just water. The plane had to wait for a fresh flight crew to be brought in because the existing flight crew were due for a replacement and couldnt continue.
2. All connecting flights were cancelled. As a result, when travelers reached the right hub airport eventually, they could go nowhere and were stuck in the airport.
3. Travelers were not issued a quick transit visa and ones non US/EU citizens were stuck in the airport. The transit visa never got done even after 9+ hours of waiting.
4. Travelers had no information on when their next connecting flight would take place and ended up standing in line at a poorly manned counter (Over 2000 passengers standing in line for hours, with just 5 representatives handling the rebookings, taking over a half hour per person). As a result, a lot of people ended up missing their new flights because they were waiting in line to find out what flight they had to go on.
1. Since it’s obvious that there are no flights coming in due to the bad weather, the Airline should have quickly informed passengers of the delay, issued a quick transit visa and put everyone in a hotel until further notice.
2. Handle the travelers by destination instead of individually and issue boarding passes on a first come first serve basis and group them into the required flights instead of having them queue up to be dealt with one by one.
3. Have passengers just show their boarding passes to the food court counters to get free meals and not have them chase after coupons.