On the morning of 4th March, 2015, on our way back from Kathmandu to India, we heard a heavy thundering sound, as soon as were ready to take the bus, to board the jet airways 9W262 flight to Delhi. We were of course confused with the sound and assumed it might just be thunder. But we were stopped at the gate and not allowed to board the bus. Soon we saw emergency vehicles, security forces and airport personnel hurrying towards the runaway of the airport.
The Turkish airlines flight in the runway
Torrential rains since the last three days had made visibility very poor and we had no idea what was going on. Everyone had their own theories, but all of us thought that a domestic helicopter had crashed in the domestic runaway. About an hour later, the fog cleared and we saw that a Turkish airlines flight had missed the runaway and skidded on to the adjacent grassy surface nearby. Passengers were being evacuated through the emergency exit.
After about 2-3 hours of wait, a sudden very rude jet airways staff came and informed us that the airport has been closed and all flights departing Kathmandu has been cancelled. Obviously we got concerned and started asking, if arrangements for the passengers has been made. He had an answer and it was NO. According to him, it was not the fault of Jet airways and was beyond their control so people had to make their own stay and food arrangements. Not even breakfast was given to us while waiting. Many of us were left angry. After about another 2 hours, our colleagues, who were supposed to take the AI flight to India informed us that there stay has been arranged at the Annapurna Hotel in Kathmandu. Air India, could also have given the same excuse as the private airlines, but they did not. Rather they understood the requirements of its passengers and made arrangements. From now on:-
- I will always try to take Air India flight whenever I fly.
- I will support public services and not favor private carriers, even if it means I will have to adjust some delays.
A lesson learned. And well learned.