Passengers aboard an Air India flight AI 865 on January 2 allegedly misbehaved with the cabin crew, when the Delhi-Mumbai flight was delayed due to technical difficulties. In videos from the flight (above and below), a group of passengers is seen standing at the cockpit door, knocking. A man is heard saying “Loser, come out,” while others plead “Sir, we are requesting you.”
“The flight got delayed due to a technical snag on Thursday. It had to return to the bay. Passengers started knocking on the cockpit door, asking and taunting the pilots to come out,” said an airline official.
“One passenger even said that he will break open the cockpit door if the pilots didn’t come out,” said the official, adding the situation inside the plane “went from bad to worse”.
Speaking to Scroll.in, Samarth Jay, a passenger aboard the flight and present in the footage above asserted that there was another side to the alleged misbehaviour. “When we were on the runway, the aircraft was turned around and brought back to the parking zone due to a malfunction in Engine Four. From that point onward, it was another hour and a half before any informed member of the crew was able to give any information to the passengers about what was happening on the aircraft.”
“The pilot made a very vague announcement saying just that there is a technical difficulty,” Jay said. “That’s when people started to get restless, saying ‘If there is a technical difficulty, we should be allowed to de-board.’ The public started getting annoyed, there was a lot of things going on. People were getting sick, having panic attacks, there was fumes coming in from the back of the plane.”
Jay added that what may have seemed like misbehaviour came from a genuine frustration on the part of the passengers, who were dealt with “rudely and impatiently. In fact, the person you see at the front near the cockpit door, that woman was treated very rudely by airline staff.”
“They agreed that protocol allows for passengers to de-board, and yet wouldn’t let anyone de-board. There was even a man with serious heart palpitations, who just wanted to be let off the aircraft.”
“The flight was considerably delayed due to technical reasons. The Air India management has asked the operating crew for a detailed report on the misbehaviour by some passengers. Further action would be considered after getting the report,” said a spokesperson for the airline.