Austrian airline Comtel is investigating claims that some of its passengers were forced to pay for refuelling when their plane stopped in Vienna.
The incident is said to have taken place on a flight from Amritsar in India on Tuesday, causing a six-hour delay as travellers on board initially refused to hand over cash.
However, they were told the flight would not get to its final destination, England’s second city Birmingham, unless they collectively came up with more than 23,000 euros.
Some had to use cash machines to come up with the money, including one woman who said afterwards: “If we didn’t have the money, they were making us go one by one outside in Vienna to get the cash out.”
At a travel agency in Birmingham, worried passengers travelling with Comtel tried to find out what was going on. Police were called to deal with worried customers, as agency bosses were unavailable.
The Birmingham to Amritsar route has only been running for one month.
A man claiming to be the managing director of Comtel’s major shareholder says refunds will be issued for those who paid in Vienna.