Sources said that Ms Shah was allowed to wait till the relative brought the required papers.
Mumbai: A Chicago-based Indian student in Mumbai on vacation to attend her friend’s wedding had to spend a harrowing 62 hours at Mumbai airport before she could step out into the city on Thursday afternoon. US citizen Komal Shah who landed in Mumbai at around 2am on February 13 by Qatar Airways flight number QR 556 was held by immigration for carrying an expired passport. Ms Shah had forgotten to carry her old passport which had her Indian visa papers and though she finally managed to get them, she had to wait for nearly 62 hours allegedly due to an error in Qatar Airways’ data.
Sources from the airport revealed that immigration officials asked Ms Shah to take the next flight to US but she pleaded with them to allow her stay back till her relative flying into Mumbai by the next flight ferried her visa papers. Sources said that Ms Shah was allowed to wait till the relative brought the required papers.
A Qatar Airways’ official said, “The passenger did not want to fly back to the US and hence, pleaded with the officers to allow her to wait at the airport until all their requirements could be fulfilled.”
Ms Shah’s brother-in-law, Chetan Shah, said, “Apart from not having the correct visa papers, she had to wait at the airport as she had crossed more than twenty hours without all required papers.” He alleged that an internal problem in Qatar Airways’ data made matters worse for Ms Shah who lives in Chicago with her family. Rubbishing the claims, a senior official from Qatar Airways said, “There were no issues the passenger faced due to the airline. She was thankful to us for helping her when needed.”
While Mr Shah said, “Taking the help of a relative in Mumbai Customs to assure immigration officials that Ms Shah was a genuine person and had no wrong intentions, the matter was sorted and she left the airport around noon.”