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We’re sadly used to paying extra for our flights now – baggage, drinks, extra legroom seats, priority boarding… But one thing we never expected to have to shell out for is the actually taking off.
So it’s gobsmacking to hear of Comtel Air, an Austrian-based airline that, in October, launched a twice-weekly service from Birmingham (UK) to Amritsar (India). On Tuesday, a plane which should have taken off on Saturday, stopped in Vienna for a scheduled refueling; only, according to passengers, the pilot refused to take off until they clubbed together to pay £23,000 ($36,000) to get the plane in the air again.
After a six hour standoff (let’s not forget they were already three days late in their arrival), the passengers agreed to pay £130 each to get the ordeal over. If they didn’t have cash on them, they were escorted to ATMs in the airport before being let back onboard.