LondonCity
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AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:16 pm

Tricky situation at LGW right now. According to the BBC, an AI flight from BOM to LHR was diverted into LGW earlier today as LHR was closed by fog. The plane remains at LGW while AI seeks a replacement crew.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15327839
 
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golfradio
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:23 pm

Doesn't LGW have customs clearance? It might have been easier to clear the passengers and bus those with connections to LHR. I would not have appreciated sitting in a plane for 8 hours.
Bring back the old site.
 
by738
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:24 pm

Customs and immigration rules or not, this is ridiculous. They could have taken them to a segregated area and provided for them. Its treating passengers like cattle. No wonder the police were called. Id be first in line to call them ( after my lawyer !)....
 
kaitak
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:34 pm

Why aren't the AI crew Cat III qualified? The airport is and of course, the 777 is more than capable of Cat III approaches, but why hasn't this crew being trained to Cat III standards? After all, DEL is an airport where Cat III qualifications would be needed.

And why can't the aircraft be ferried to LHR?
 
by738
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:02 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 3):
And why can't the aircraft be ferried to LHR?

It was. Eventually.
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:17 pm

There should have been no reason for the customers on board to not have de-boarded, unless AI did not want them to. LGW has the full facilities to cope with a flight from anywhere.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:37 pm

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 5):
There should have been no reason for the customers on board to not have de-boarded, unless AI did not want them to. LGW has the full facilities to cope with a flight from anywhere.

Agree, seems like AI did not want to incur any local charges for such services.
Very poor management call.
Can not imagine this happening in the US without a BIG fuss. 8 hrs going nowhere in a plane would really upset me.  
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
LondonCity
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:42 pm

The AI flight has now arrived back at LHR after a delay of almost 9hrs at LGW. There is some more info about the incident now posted on the Daily Telegraph's website:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/tr...Gatwick-for-almost-nine-hours.html
 
vv701
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:53 pm

Perhaps AI did n ot have the credit to pay for services at LGW. ( I understand they have significant financial problems.)
 
David_itl
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 3):
Why aren't the AI crew Cat III qualified?

Err.. if there's hour+ delays, it wouldn't matter what qualifications the crew had. MAN hosted a US A330 + AA 777. Shall we cast aspersions on those crews as well?
 
rutankrd
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:57 pm

Nothing to see here just a typical divert to an off station airfield with no handling agent agreement etc...

Add they would have had to apply for a slot to get back to Heathrow at a time when ATC are operating flow management and you rapidly get to a crew time out situation.

Suspect this Air India crew would have preferred to go to Paris of Frankfurt if they were able to.

The UK press just love these stories.
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:57 pm

Would the crew of the flight that should have left been at LHR waiting. Could they not have just got a coach to LGW, only takes an hour...
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
rutankrd
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 11):
Would the crew of the flight that should have left been at LHR waiting. Could they not have just got a coach to LGW, only takes an hour...

That call would be a decision for line management to make and based on the fact Heathrow didn't close but rather flow control was enforced they could only rely on an early slot , so crew repositioning likely would't have helped that much.

As i said they may have been better served going to a Line Station - Paris or Frankfurt but for urgent fuel considerations.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:20 pm

The story is building more now as the passengers arriving at LHR and talk to the waiting press.
Some it seems wanted to be arrested at LGW just in order to get off the plane.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
laca773
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:00 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 6):
Agree, seems like AI did not want to incur any local charges for such services.
Very poor management call.
Can not imagine this happening in the US without a BIG fuss. 8 hrs going nowhere in a plane would really upset me.

Seems like Star Alliance made the right decision on denying AI into Star! These type of mistakes as well as everything else they have done or are currently doing really add up.
 
Burj
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:14 pm

Do the EU rules apply in this situation?

If this were in the U.S. there would have been huge fines!

From: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot5111.html

"Tarmac Delays. The new rule expands the existing ban on lengthy tarmac delays to cover foreign airlines’ operations at U.S. airports and establishes a four hour hard time limit on tarmac delays for international flights of U.S. and foreign airlines, with exceptions allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons. Carriers must also ensure that passengers stuck on the tarmac are provided adequate food and water after two hours, as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment.

The extended tarmac delays experienced by passengers on international flights operated by foreign carriers at New York’s JFK Airport during the December 2010 blizzard was an important factor in the Department’s decision to extend the tarmac delay provisions to foreign air carriers and establish a four hour tarmac delay limit for international flights."
 
planesailing
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:23 pm

Air India has a ground handling agreement in place at Gatwick which comes as an extension of their agreement in place for cargo handling.

Anyway, emergency ground handling can be arranged at short notice with handling agents should there be a required need for it.

There must be more to this story than the published headline but without Air India's comment, it will be hard to judge so.
 
rutankrd
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting Burj (Reply 15):
Do the EU rules apply in this situation?

If this were in the U.S. there would have been huge fines!

From: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot5111.html

"Tarmac Delays. The new rule expands the existing ban on lengthy tarmac delays to cover foreign airlines’ operations at U.S. airports and establishes a four hour hard time limit on tarmac delays for international flights of U.S. and foreign airlines, with exceptions allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons. Carriers must also ensure that passengers stuck on the tarmac are provided adequate food and water after two hours, as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment.

The extended tarmac delays experienced by passengers on international flights operated by foreign carriers at New York’s JFK Airport during the December 2010 blizzard was an important factor in the Department’s decision to extend the tarmac delay provisions to foreign air carriers and establish a four hour tarmac delay limit for international flights."

I would say with exceptions allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons

the last comment applies here it was held on stop by ATC flow control awaiting a positioning slot.
 
Springbok747
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:32 pm

Its AI. What else can people expect? Pathetic service and pathetic treatment. Still don't know why anyone would fly them when there are better options (Kingfisher and Jet Airways) available.

AI could have arranged a bus or something to go to LHR..I mean looking at Google maps it tells me its about an hour's drive. Way better than forcing the passengers to remain on board for 8 hours!
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kaitak
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:40 pm

Well, as I always say, India has produced many great writers of fiction in recent years - Vikram Seth, V S Naipaul, Arundhati Roy - but no one has equalled the level of fiction produced by Air India in its magnum opus, simply titled, "Timetable".
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:41 pm

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 18):
AI could have arranged a bus or something to go to LHR..I mean looking at Google maps it tells me its about an hour's drive. Way better than forcing the passengers to remain on board for 8 hours!

It is an hour on a coach. Lots of em run every day, AI could even have chartered one.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
babybus
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:53 pm

I mentioned before in another thread that during the 80s Air India used any excuse to land at LGW rather than LHR. Lower landing fees was one reason, but I'm sure there were more.

In those days the pax were put on coaches to LHR and the LHR pax brought to LGW.

What's the point of buying advanced technology planes if you don't use them for what they can do? Even the Trident could land in fog.  
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting Babybus (Reply 21):
What's the point of buying advanced technology planes if you don't use them for what they can do? Even the Trident could land in fog.  

Main reason for the diversions (A BA plane went to BHX apparently) was the flow rate being highly reduced. It was thick as pea soup when I left the house at 0615 and was still as thick at 1000. Only started to burn away at about 1130.

As I was in the bus going past the threshold area of 27R, I heard a plane, and only saw it as it came over the road, and even then lost it a few seconds later just as it touched down, so I can understand why it may have diverted.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
David_itl
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:17 pm

Quoting Babybus (Reply 21):
What's the point of buying advanced technology planes if you don't use them for what they can do? Even the Trident could land in fog.
Quoting david_itl (Reply 9):
Quoting kaitak (Reply 3):
Why aren't the AI crew Cat III qualified?

Err.. if there's hour+ delays, it wouldn't matter what qualifications the crew had. MAN hosted a US A330 + AA 777. Shall we cast aspersions on those crews as well?

I wonder if some people read what other airlines did.
 
LJ
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:18 pm

Quoting Burj (Reply 15):
Do the EU rules apply in this situation?

No, this a flight which originated outside the EU and was operated by a non-EU airline. The EU rules only apply for all flights by EU airlines or flights originated in the EU.
 
varig_dc10
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:33 pm

A similar thing happened to me last Christmas, when I was on a TAM flight from GRU to LHR.

LHR was closed because of snow, so they diverted us to CDG.

We sat on the tarmac for five hours. Initially they were going to try and fly us back to LHR.
But eventually the crew ran out of hours, so they took us all of the plane.

It's very frustrating just sitting there being able to do nothing.
 
bthebest
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:20 pm

Ok, so for whatever reasons the aircraft didn't land at LHR - fair enough.

Waiting a few hours on the tarmac at LGW to resolve LHR landing problem - fair enough, but crew goes out of hours.

Pax should have been let off plane at this point - into holding area/bussed to LHR/or released through customs?

Only reason i can see for keeping them on the plane is that they were expecting a relief crew/ATC slot and therefore deplaning would just hold process up even longer??

Qs - do pax and luggage have to be 'deplaned' at same airport? could people have left LGW and got their luggage at another time (like the airline shipping it to them as with lost baggage)?
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:39 pm

If the crew goes out of hours then mustn't the passengers be offloaded? If the crew is off duty, they're off duty so can't provide any services (safety or comfort) to the passengers. I can't imagine the crew disembarked leaving the passengers on board?!?!
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:43 pm

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 27):
If the crew goes out of hours then mustn't the passengers be offloaded? If the crew is off duty, they're off duty so can't provide any services (safety or comfort) to the passengers. I can't imagine the crew disembarked leaving the passengers on board?!?!

Have been thinking the same thing since I heard them say "Crew Out Of Hours"
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
jc2354
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:50 pm

Good news: Only 110 passengers (http://www.asianage.com/international/110-ai-passengers-stranded-8-hours-inside-plane-after-flight-diverted-080)

Bad news: Everything else.

After the famous JetBlue flight attendant exit from a flight, I have to wonder why nobody popped a slide.

As for me, I probably would have settled into one of the many empty rows, and enjoyed my duty free purchases.
If not now, then when?
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:51 pm

Quoting BY738 (Reply 2):
Customs and immigration rules or not, this is ridiculous. They could have taken them to a segregated area and provided for them. Its treating passengers like cattle. No wonder the police were called. Id be first in line to call them ( after my lawyer !)....
Quoting lhr380 (Reply 5):
There should have been no reason for the customers on board to not have de-boarded, unless AI did not want them to.
Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 6):
Agree, seems like AI did not want to incur any local charges for such services.
Very poor management call.
Quoting laca773 (Reply 14):
Seems like Star Alliance made the right decision on denying AI into Star! These type of mistakes as well as everything else they have done or are currently doing really add up.

I'm amazed at how easily people on a.net jump into an AI attacking mode......the BBC story is extremely one-sided, with no comments from AI itself......passengers are obviously going to give their version of the story and after 8 hours on the plane on ground, not likely to say anything good.....I agree, AI as usual, would have floundered in providing information and making their passengers comfortable.....but there's an important angle that most a.netters are not aware of....

All flights from India and other S.Asian countries, are treated with extreme suspicion, especially at airports like LHR and other UK airports.....reason is that there are a lot of people seeking to illegally enter the country.....when AI used to fly to US via LHR, US bound passengers used to be frequently herded into a room and not allowed to move around in the terminal area for the two hours halt.....there is nothing that AI could do about it....it was a requirement of the British authorities.....in this case, imagine an AI flight from India, suddenly landing up at a different airport than the one originally intended......there probably must have been major issues about getting the passengers cleared there and allowing them to enter the UK.....without knowing the full story, just resorting to the usualy AI - bashing, doesn't make sense.....

All said and done, the airline is responsible for ensuring that the passengers are provided with information, food and other comforts......
 
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par13del
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:03 pm

I speculate on two items:
1. AI management did not approve the funds for deplanement at LGW with the associated charges to get pax to LHR
2. Crew time out, which means either a new crew from LHR if available or a new crew flown in from India.

If 1 got bad enough local authorities could have removed the pax regardless of the airlines objection, them saying its the airlines responsibility only goes so far, if pax become disruptive on-board the police will be called.

Based on the time actually spent the same crew may have gone to get required crew rest then return to operate the flight.
If there was a fresh crew at LHR waiting for the a/c, based on the scheduled time of departure for the return flight management may have requested that they report to duty an hour or so ealry to go to LGW, pick up the a/c and remain on duty for the return flight. Problem with this trend of thought puts it back to 1 above, the pax could have been offloaded and bussed while the a/c waited for the fresh crew, no need to inconvenience the pax to maintain the return schedule.

I am interested in knowing the final story if the details every become public, real interested.
 
planesailing
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:13 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 30):
I'm amazed at how easily people on a.net jump into an AI attacking mode......the BBC story is extremely one-sided, with no comments from AI itself......passengers are obviously going to give their version of the story and after 8 hours on the plane on ground, not likely to say anything good.....I agree, AI as usual, would have floundered in providing information and making their passengers comfortable.....but there's an important angle that most a.netters are not aware of....

All flights from India and other S.Asian countries, are treated with extreme suspicion, especially at airports like LHR and other UK airports.....reason is that there are a lot of people seeking to illegally enter the country.....when AI used to fly to US via LHR, US bound passengers used to be frequently herded into a room and not allowed to move around in the terminal area for the two hours halt.....there is nothing that AI could do about it....it was a requirement of the British authorities.....in this case, imagine an AI flight from India, suddenly landing up at a different airport than the one originally intended......there probably must have been major issues about getting the passengers cleared there and allowing them to enter the UK.....without knowing the full story, just resorting to the usualy AI - bashing, doesn't make sense.....

All said and done, the airline is responsible for ensuring that the passengers are provided with information, food and other comforts......

If this is the case, then why have AI not come out and said this to the press who are currently bashing them? One article I read quite clearly stated, AI has not commented, which further adds fuel to the thoughts that AI messed up with this situation.

Additionally, as the flight was terminating in London, the story regarding illegal entries is partially mute, immigration at Gatwick and Heathrow are exactly the same and are fully able to process immigration into the country. Passengers deboarded would not be able to get through immigration if that was the airlines wish, as they would have to have staff escorts to get from a departure gate lounge to immigration.

Finally, staff cannot leave the aircraft with passengers aboard and cannot go out of hours and remain with passengers onboard. Whilst passengers are on board, there must be a legal minimum of crew and either flight deck or an engineer incase of an emergency.
 
Rivet42
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:34 pm

The cause of the diversion itself is largely irrelevent, flights get diverted like this all the time, it's what happened subsequently that is the story here.

Interestingly, not picked up so far here is the reported comment on the news that when asked why they couldn't leave the aircraft passengers were told it was 'illegal'. Now since when was deplaning at an international airport with full immigration facilities against the law? And which law exactly...?!
There is a lot more to this than we are being told at the moment, but it is very odd, given the mood of the media, that AI dont' release some kind of statement explaining why they weren't allowed to deplane the flight at LGW, if indeed that was the case. The fact that they haven't tried to point the finger at someone else suggests very strongly that it was a commercial decision, by which one is entitled to presume 'financial'...

Shocking, whoever is to blame - a very hefty fine should be levied against those eventually found to be responsible for such dreadful treatment of passengers.

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
Springbok747
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:07 am

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 30):
with no comments from AI itself....

Typical response from AI..silence..instead of saying what their reasons were and trying to clear this issue.

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 30):
All flights from India and other S.Asian countries, are treated with extreme suspicion, especially at airports like LHR and other UK airports.....reason is that there are a lot of people seeking to illegally enter the country..

BS. All their passports/visas are checked and double checked before boarding. There are checks before that also - before their visas are granted to make sure people don't enter the country illegally. People with a high degree of suspicion are simply not granted a visa.

What AI did here is despicable, keeping people on board for 8-9 hours. They could have easily got them onto a coach and taken them to LHR and processed them there.
אני תומך בישראל
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:52 am

Quoting planesailing (Reply 32):
If this is the case, then why have AI not come out and said this to the press who are currently bashing them? One article I read quite clearly stated, AI has not commented, which further adds fuel to the thoughts that AI messed up with this situation.

I would put it down to AI's usual slow response in such situations.....that's what gets them into trouble with passengers most of the time......their handling of PR is notoriously bad.....

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 34):
BS. All their passports/visas are checked and double checked before boarding. There are checks before that also - before their visas are granted to make sure people don't enter the country illegally. People with a high degree of suspicion are simply not granted a visa.

Before usuing terms like "BS", please acquaint yourself with the situation......I've had relatives who've flown thru LHR on the way to the US and have seen this happen firsthand....just 3 years back, I travelled by 9W from BOM to YYZ via BRU.....when we were getting off at YYZ, there was a Canadian immigration officer at the door of the plane, carefully checking PPs and PR cards befoe letting each passenger even enter the jetway........unfortunately, flights coming from India have a high rate of illegal immigrants and sometimes, even refugee claimants....

There was a comment about some AI official mentioning to passengers that it was "illegal" for them to get off.....probably just a wrong use of language there.......I highly suspect that there was reluctance on the part of the UK immigration to let off the passengers, considering the circumstances in which the plane landed and the fact it was coming from India....we do need to hear both sides of the story....

Of course, as before, I do lay part of the blame at AI's door for poor communication and treatment of passengers...
 
Burj
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:17 am

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 17):
the last comment applies here it was held on stop by ATC flow control awaiting a positioning slot

I don't think this does apply because once the crew times out ATC flow control becomes a moot point. The fines only kick in after 4 hours to give the airlines plenty of leeway. During those four hours AI would have known if they would get ATC clearance before the crew times out...assuming the crew didn't time out well before the four hours.

Quoting LJ (Reply 24):
No, this a flight which originated outside the EU and was operated by a non-EU airline. The EU rules only apply for all flights by EU airlines or flights originated in the EU.

O.K. thanks for clarifying that! When I fly to Europe I often have a choice between DL or AF/KL so it sounds like for the maximum protection I should choose AF/KL for flights TO Europe....
 
Tsveto4nik
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:45 am

A spokesman for Gatwick said that it had been Air India's decision to keep the passengers on board rather than arrange alternative transport to Heathrow.

"The plane remained off the runway and kept in the vicinity of the tarmac. The duty of care in those situations lies with the airline," he said.
________
Like anyone would doubt that...
 
Springbok747
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:56 am

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 35):
I highly suspect that there was reluctance on the part of the UK immigration to let off the passengers, considering the circumstances in which the plane landed and the fact it was coming from India..

Not true. It was AI's decision to keep passengers on board.

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 35):
unfortunately, flights coming from India have a high rate of illegal immigrants and sometimes, even refugee claimants....

? Source please. How the hell can someone even board a flight to the UK/wherever without a valid visa?! Like you said below..immigration officers check visa status etc. before boarding..so there is no question of getting on an aircraft illegally!

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 35):
there was a Canadian immigration officer at the door of the plane, carefully checking PPs and PR cards befoe letting each passenger even enter the jetway...

Happens all the time..not unique to India. My PR/visa status (along with everybody else) was also checked when I was boarding a SQ flight from SIN to ADL. I have an Australian passport, and the immigration officer (a Singaporean immigration officer) was checking to see if it was real (he had some sort of handheld UV light thing), and he was also checking visa status of people who did not have Australian passports.
אני תומך בישראל
 
wukka
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:36 am

Arrest me. I will not sit there for 9 hours for a dog and pony show. If a single member of that crew got off of the plane, I would be directly behind them.

Personally, if I had to sit idling for 9 hours, you'd better give me a good bottle of booze and the best IFE I've ever seen, or you will find my fat ass running around the tarmac naked until airport security shoots me.

Why aren't these incidents considered illegal imprisonment?
We can agree to disagree.
 
lhr380
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:10 am

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 35):

I did chuckle at your comment. I can Bet you anything LGW Immigration would not have cared one bit if the flight unloaded there or not. It's uk immigration, just like at LHR.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
bennett123
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RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:43 am

If Immigration at LGW had any doubts about this unexpected arrivalthey could presumably have called operations, who could confirm the divertion.

Equally, do they enter the UK immediately that the leave the plane. My understanding is that they only do so on clearing immigration.

If they did not want to bring them through, could they have taken them to a departure lounge.

jc2354

Did you say that only 110 passengers were affected, seems like a small load.
 
coolum
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:51 am

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 38):
Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 38):
How the hell can someone even board a flight to the UK/wherever without a valid visa?! Like you said below..immigration officers check visa status etc. before boarding..so there is no question of getting on an aircraft illegally!

You are extremely niave if you think people aren't boarding flights all over the world with illegal/false documentation.

Immigration officers don't care (at least in my experience at LGW) if a passenger is leaving the country with false docs.
They will only be interested if that same passenger was trying to enter the UK.
Coolum
 
trintocan
Posts: 2725
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:52 am

One quick point...

Quoting kaitak (Reply 19):
Well, as I always say, India has produced many great writers of fiction in recent years - Vikram Seth, V S Naipaul, Arundhati Roy -

Vidia S Naipaul is from Trinidad & Tobago and not India.

In terms of what happened at LGW, I think AI is the one at fault here. Diversions happen for many reasons but most never make the news. If the crew were running out of hours then the logical thing to do would have been to arrange for the passengers to deboard, clear Immigration and HM Customs at LGW and then be bussed over to LHR - LGW could certainly handle those procedures (although depending on traffic situations there at the time there may be a delay in arranging them). It seems likely that the additional cost of doing so was the reason for AI's reluctance to deplane in LGW - and the reason for their silence!

Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
nclmedic
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:25 pm

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:56 am

Quoting coolum (Reply 42):
You are extremely niave if you think people aren't boarding flights all over the world with illegal/false documentation.

Immigration officers don't care (at least in my experience at LGW) if a passenger is leaving the country with false docs.
They will only be interested if that same passenger was trying to enter the UK.

Have to (sadly) agree with this as well. Other than checking visitors leave the UK when they're supposed to, the UK Border Agency cares very little who leaves. The airline, however, has a huge vested interest in this. Anyone found entering a country illegally can be sent back from whence they came at the carrier's expense!
 
TupolevTu154
Posts: 1918
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:00 pm

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:37 pm

I'm quite interested that nobody had mentioned the AA 767 that also diverted in to LGW yesterday morning and sat on the ground for at least 6 hours before finally leaving. As far as I'm aware the passengers were still on board?
 
Ychocky
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:03 pm

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:48 pm

Were the timed out crew allowed to get of the aircraft?

Arguably it is easier to get to points in London from Gatwick so I think a choice could/should have been offered to PAX.
 
vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:10 pm

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 45):
I'm quite interested that nobody had mentioned the AA 767 that also diverted in to LGW yesterday morning and sat on the ground for at least 6 hours before finally leaving.

Where its passengers kept on board for those six hours?

AI have now commented on the situation:

"Passengers ended up sitting on a plane on the tarmac at Gatwick Airport for more than eight hours because of "creeping delays", Air India has said."

More at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15332209
 
kaitak
Posts: 8935
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:21 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 47):
"Passengers ended up sitting on a plane on the tarmac at Gatwick Airport for more than eight hours because of "creeping delays", Air India has said."

Yes, but apart from the initial fog, all of those delays were caused by Air India itself; "creeping delays" can't really be used as an explanation.

I'm more interested in seeing AI's proposals for compensating delayed passengers.

Quoting trintocan (Reply 43):
Vidia S Naipaul is from Trinidad & Tobago and not India.

I stand corrected. Apologies.
 
Skyguy
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:55 am

RE: AI Flight Stranded At LGW

Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:30 pm

AI being a government run airline and completely crippled by bureaucracy, anything that happens out-of-the-ordinary has to be run up the hierarchy ladder of AI management to get approvals to get anything done.
The AI minions on the ground probably realized very quickly what the proper course of action would have been, i.e. either deplane passengers, feed them and wait for fog to clear or let them clear immigration at LGW and bus them to LHR, of course at a cost to AI. However, in all likelihood they probably did not have the authority to make the decision to offload etc., and the decision maker up the ranks probably was missing-in-action till hours later. This kind of thing happens frequently at AI, in the sense that junior and operational ranks are not given decision making capacity to fix issues and problems however mundane or routine, authorization must come from senior personnel who are then held accountable. Nevertheless, 8 hours of no food is inexcusable in any circumstance.

An interesting aside: Recently I was at hotel in IAH, and so happens BA crew also stay here. I was at the lobby front desk and discussing some matters with hotel staff, and noticed a BA captian (four stripes on his wrist and all) on the phone at the Concierge desk. Apparently, the crew bus to take them to the airport never showed up, and it was now over 40 minutes late. The Captain was on the phone to the local BA Station Manager and asked if it was OK to just take taxis to the airport and get re-imbursed, the Captain was stumped when he was told 'no', and not provided a solution either, except "we're looking into it". As I left, the story unfolded, another bus had been found by the hotel to help out the BA crew get to the airport but it would not arrive for another 40 minutes. Not sure if the flight left on time that night as I would have imagined the crew were seriously late to the airport, but these kind of administrative mess-up's and hand-wringing happens to even the best in the industry.

[Edited 2011-10-17 08:39:04]

[Edited 2011-10-17 08:39:52]
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."