Aaj Tak was reporting about an AI flight to New York delayed by over 10 hours at BOM. First due to the fog and then due to a Hydraulics failure of some sort which led to a mini-riot at BOM airport.
One passenger onboard called "Mr.Siddharth" kept calling up the Aaj Tak newsroom (or was it the other way round?) from onboard the aircraft. According to him the flight was “operated by a Boeing 747 which had a capacity of 800 passengers”. “Around 400 passengers boarded at BOM and the rest were supposed to board from DEL”. Apparently AI first announced a delay because of the fog and during that time they were not allowed to leave the aircraft “for security reasons”. Sometime later another AI flight to DEL was cancelled and another 400 pax from that flight were asked to board this aircraft. But “when we were about to pushback, the engines failed and we were asked to deplane. I talked to the captain and asked him why the engines were not checked during the fog delay. He said arrogantly that they were only following standard procedure. After getting off the plane the passengers asked to meet somebody from senior management, but only junior staff were there to help us. Over 800 passengers from our flight were stranded in the departure area with no food or water. The whole thing is the result of bad management and I am never going to fly AI again.”
End of Quote.
While my friend who works for a domestic carrier was amused when he saw the report, I was appalled at this passenger’s behavior. From what I made of it, the fog was not AI’s fault, and there was little chance the pilot could have detected a hydraulic failure before the engines were started for departure.
Why do the same guys, who put on their best behavior when flying on a foreign carrier behave so badly when flying with an Indian carrier? Anyone else here agrees that if this had been a BA flight, our “Mr.Siddharth” would have been covering in his seat like a mouse instead of calling up a News Channel from his cellphone? And would any foreign carrier bring out their “Senior Management” to deal with a delayed flight?