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These Sheffield students are having the worst trip of their lives

They’re stuck at Dubai airport and claim the Indian embassy messed up their visas


A number of Sheffield students are currently stuck in Dubai Airport, and will fly home from one of the "worst trips of their lives" tonight.

The group, all studying for a masters in Planning, were due to be visiting India as part of their course.

Having paid for the trip out of their own money, they were unfortunately refused entry to the country, and they claim that the Indian Embassy messed up their visas.

Emily Darroch is one of the students on the uni trip, and has told us about the dramas faced by the group – which started with the strikes and snow in Britain, and escalated to them being unable to cross the Indian border, and even being forced into detention without anywhere to get food or water.

They started off being able to dodge the current strikes, after their lecturers spoke to the Union. It was decided that they wouldn't strike because two of their modules surround the trip.

Following the recent adverse weather conditions, they had to leave Sheffield at midnight on Friday to get to Manchester at 3:30am for a flight at 8:45am.

After their seven hour flight, with a layover in Dubai, they went straight on to the next plane for a four hour flight to Chennai in India.

However, when they got to Chennai and queued up in the immigration queue, they were told by officials that they potentially had the wrong type of visa.

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The closest the group got to Chennai

This was despite the fact that the Indian Embassy in the UK had said that the visas were fine, and the fact that the visas on the same trip last year were also fine.

They landed at 2:30am in India, but had to wait until 6am for the senior manager, who chatted with uni staff to try and resolve the situation.

One of the lecturers then informed the group that sadly, they had been refused entry, and they were going to be put on the next flight back home to Manchester.

The students were detained in the same place in immigration, without a shop or anywhere to get water or food, until 9:15am, when they were escorted by security onto the next departing flight.

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A positive way to look at it

Another four hour flight to Dubai followed, and they're having to wait for another flight to be sorted, which isn't till 3am, so the students have now been in Dubai Airport for over six hours.

They managed to get an hour of fresh air before being told to move, and, after their next seven hour flight, the unfortunate travellers will have spent three days in airports or on their flight home.

Emily told us: "The lecturers have been fab. There’s nothing they could have done in the situation and we have been told that they’re looking at sorting out refunds for us as we had to pay ourselves."

As cold and wintry as this Sunday evening in Sheffield is, at least your weekend probably hasn't been this much of a nightmare…