Comtel Passengers Forced to Pay $31,500 to Continue Flight

Wish I hadn’t already used that Jackie Chiles reference earlier this week, because this is easily 10 times as ridiculous, preposterous, egregious, outrageous. There is not even humor to be found in how irresponsible those bastards at Comtel Air are. This incident wasn’t just the usual airport screw-over, this fiasco involved 600 passengers, 4 grounded Comtel flights, $31,500 (£20,000) in ransom money and a blind grandmother who was left without her medication because her luggage was left in the cargo hold.

This “airline” if you could call it one has apparently been hiding its near-bankrupt status from its customers and when passengers on a flight from India to Birmingham landed in Midland airport, flight attendants had to explain that the company could not afford to pay its landing fees or its fueling costs. They then proceeded to tell their already furious customers that unless they wanted to take the bus to Birmingham (literally, not for alliteration purposes) they would have to cough up around £100 each in addition to their £500 airfare. Some kind souls paid even more to cover the elderly and little children with no capability to pay. Police were contacted, bureaucracy began…the whole thing.

Basically they were told either pay the whip-around (ransom) or stay prisoners on the plane. After six hours of doing the latter, the passengers were escorted to ATMs to withdraw the money. Comtel is yet to be reached about the situation, but judging by the fact that this occurred on 4 flights, one of which has yet to take off and holds 180 stranded passengers, it is easy to tell this wasn’t a “glitch”. The airline is in financial ruin, and frankly, we hope they stay that way. At least they’ll have some company with Spirit Airlines and Ryanair quickly following the trend of bad management.