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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Two Norfolk friends get last flights out of India after airline is grounded

PUBLISHED: 13:20 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:27 19 April 2019

Friends Caroline Martin and Andree Byron in Goa. They are going to be flying home to the UK to spend the rest of the Easter weekend at home. Pic: submitted.

Friends Caroline Martin and Andree Byron in Goa. They are going to be flying home to the UK to spend the rest of the Easter weekend at home. Pic: submitted.

Two Norfolk friends are among the lucky few who will be spending Easter at home after managing to get rebooked onto one of the last flights out of India.

Some passengers  are struggling to get home after the flight cancellations by Jet Airways. Pic: Getty imagesSome passengers are struggling to get home after the flight cancellations by Jet Airways. Pic: Getty images

Andree Byron and Caroline Martin are on holiday in Goa and thanks to the efforts of their local travel agent, Rachel Garnish of RG Travel based in north Norfolk, they will be flying home tomorrow.

They were among thousands of passengers caught up in the travel nightmare after Jet Airways cancelled all of its domestic and international flights.

Many people including families with children needing to go back to school next week are caught up in the chaos.

MORE: Family stranded in India after airline is grounded finds way out - for £5,500

However, Ms Byron and Ms Martin were among the lucky ones. Their travel agent Rachel was monitoring the flights and as soon as Jet Airways cancelled, she was on the phone to get a flight from her suppliers – and managed to get two of the last seats with Qatar Airways, codesharing with BA from Mumbai to Heathrow.

“As soon as Jet Airways cancelled, I was on the phone. I feel so sorry for those people who are stranded but I'm really happy I managed to get my clients, the only ones I have in India, on a flight home,” she said.

Ms Byron, who lives in Norwich, said: “Rachel totally took the worry and stress out of it for us, she has been totally brilliant, extended the accommodation, dealt with the flights and the transfers too. We have been very lucky. The staff at the Acacia where we have been staying have also been super helpful.”

MORE: Families could be stranded in India for a week say Norfolk travel agents

Others weren't so lucky. Mitul Patel contacted this newspaper to say: “My sister in law and five year old niece are in India and due back on April 23. What will happen? Will they be put on another flight?”

Advice to passengers was fairly bleak. Jet Airways itself issued a statement saying: “Passengers whose Jet Air flights are cancelled while on holiday, will not be covered under EU legislation and therefore may not be entitled to hotels and meals until the airline can get them home.”

More advice is on the CAA website click here.

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