Passengers 'Held for Ransom' on Comtel Air Flight in Vienna

Everyone knows that air travel can be a difficult experience these days, but what happened to a group of travelers aboard Comtel Air earlier this week borders on nightmarish.

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Passengers Told: Pay Up or Plane Won’t Fly

After a delay of several days, passengers aboard the Comtel charter flight were heading home from Amritsar, India, to Birmingham, England, when the plane made a refueling stop in Vienna, and that’s when passengers were asked to pay up – a total of $31,000.

News reports do not make it clear who asked for the money, but it was made clear to the passengers that unless they paid, they weren’t going anywhere.

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Passengers’ Cash Collected on the Plane

Cash was collected from the travelers on the spot and those who had no money were escorted off the aircraft to airport ATM machines. It is believed the money was used to pay the jet fuel bill. Passengers were only told that the airline “ran out of cash to fund the last leg of the trip.”

Said one of the “hostage” passengers, “It was absolutely disgusting.”

Meanwhile, other Comtel aircraft flights are experiencing massive delays, though the company told Britain’s Channel 4 news that it is not in any sort of financial difficulty. The spokesman added that passengers will be given refunds for the “ransom” though it released no details.

Numerous investigations are said to be underway.

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Published: November 17, 2011