World Bulletin / News Desk
The British Airways aircraft had made an emergency landing due to a breakdown at the Schwechat International Airport in Vienna. All 249 passengers were told they would be provided with accommodation in the city, however, 49 of them, mostly Turkish citizens, were not allowed to exit the airport because they lacked Schengen visas. These passengers, which included women, elderly and children remained in limbo at the airport all night. The stranded passengers were provided 30 euros, a blanket and a meal ticket, according to a passenger.
Some passengers vented their frustrations online. Yusuf Sami Kamadan, a passenger who also works as a correspondent for Turkey’s state television TRT, shared footage showing how passengers were being mistreated at the airport, saying, it was unlawful and he would file a lawsuit against the airline.
“British Airways made a hotel reservation for us, but we couldn’t enter as we are Turkish citizens. They don’t even give me my luggage. Everything in the suitcase, my kid is hungry…such disgrace. All the time we are treated as second [class] citizen,” a woman passenger could be heard as saying in Kamadan’s footage.
When Anadolu Agency contacted British Airways for its version, it said via email: “The reason some customers were not allowed to leave the airport was due to a border control issue. EU residents were allowed to leave the airport and go to the hotels.
“The customers are due to leave Vienna at 2 p.m. local time [1200 GMT]. We are sorry for the inconvenience but the safety of our customers and crew will always be our highest priority.”