Indian table tennis star shocked after team denied boarding by Air India

first_imgIndia’s top-ranked table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran expressed his shock over the kind of treatment they received from Air India and the way they were left stranded at the international airport in New Delhi after being denied boarding for a flight to Melbourne.The ITTF World Tour Australian Open is set to begin on Monday and 17 players and officials of the Indian table tennis team were set to fly to Melbourne but only 10 of them could fly out.Upon their arrival at the airport, they were told that the flight was overbooked and only 10 members of the team could board the Air India flight.Among the seven who could not fly were Commonwealth Games gold medallists Manika Batra and Mouma Das.Also read – Manika Batra and team finally board flight to Australia. What delayed them?Sathiyan said that it was “shocking” as they had a confirmed ticket and he hoped that they won’t face such problems in the future.”Very unfortunate and shocking as we had a confirmed ticket from Air India and we never expected something like this would happen,” Sathiyan told IANS from Melbourne.Along with the 40th ranked player, celebrated paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal and six others have reached the venue while Mouma and Manika are slated to arrive at night.I would like to thank @NeelamKapur mam for the prompt action and getting our tickets booked for tonight. Finally got my boarding pass and flying soon. Thanks @Media_SAI @Ra_THORe sir @PMOIndia sir pic.twitter.com/ciZPt07fABadvertisementManika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) July 22, 2018″I am really disappointed and hope we don’t face such problems in future from the airline,” Sathiyan added.”It will be quite hard for the players who come late but I still feel it was really nice that SAI, sports ministry and TTFI (Table Tennis Federation of India) made good efforts at the last moment to fly them as early as possible with alternate arrangements. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is ranked 40 in the world and is India’s top-ranked table tennis player. (Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Instagram Photo)”They will reach tonight and sleep over there as well, otherwise they were supposed to reach next day morning, just few hours before the match which would have been worse,” he told.On Sunday, Manika took to Twitter to post a couple of tweets speaking of the trouble they faced and expressed her shock over the mismanagement.Our contingent of total 17 players & officials of Indian table tennis team including CWG medalist myself, Sharath Kamal, Mouma Das, Madhurika, Harmeet, Suthirta, Sathyan were supposed to fly today to Melbourne by AI 0308 to participate in ITTF World Tour Australian Open from tomManika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) July 22, 2018Contd- On reaching Air India counter we were told dat flight is overbooked &only 10 members of TT team can fly which left us in a shock.7 of us are still unable to fly.All the tickets were booked by Balmer [email protected]_THORe @PMOIndia Shocked at such mismanagement by @airindiainManika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) July 22, 2018Even as Sports India Director General Neelam Kapur sprung into action immediately and made the arrangements, Air India blamed the late arrival of players and the bookings done under different PNRs.Sathiyan brushed aside such claims and said that the airline should do a better job than leaving people hanging like that.”Still I feel Air India should manage it better and not leave passengers like this.”They gave us hotel, food and stuff but the purpose would have been defeated had we not reached on time.”(With IANS inputs)last_img