Air India Flight AI 183 To San Francisco Delayed By 20 Hours; 'Passengers Faint After AC Failure, Made To Sit On Aerobridge,' Say Fliers

Air India Flight AI 183 To San Francisco Delayed By 20 Hours; 'Passengers Faint After AC Failure, Made To Sit On Aerobridge,' Say Fliers

According to Journalist Shweta Punj, who was on the flight, the extreme conditions inside the plane caused some passengers to faint, leading the crew to deboard the passengers.

Rahul MUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 09:06 AM IST
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New Delhi: Air India Flight To San Francisco Delayed By 20 Hours; 'No AC, Not Allowed Back Into Terminal,' Say Fliers |

New Delhi: A recent incident involving Air India has sparked widspread concern after passengers on flight AI 183 to San Francisco experienced severe discomfort and health issues due to a lack of air-conditioning and prolonged delays. According to a report in NDTV, the flight, originally scheduled to depart on Thursday afternoon (May 30), faced an over eight-hour delay, making a total delay of more than 20 hours before its rescheduled departure at 11 am the following day, Friday (May 31).

Passengers Faint Inside The Aircraft Due To Severe Heatwave Condtions & No AC

Journalist Shweta Punj, who was on the flight, highlighted the ordeal on social media, noting that passengers were boarded onto the aircraft without functioning air-conditioning amid a severe heatwave in Delhi, where temperatures soared to a record 52.9 degrees Celsius. According to Punj, the extreme conditions inside the plane caused some passengers to faint, leading the crew to deboard the passengers.

"If there is a privatisation story that has failed it is Air India," Punj commented in her post, tagging Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and emphasizing the inhumanity of the situation. She criticised the aviation regulator DGCA for the mishandling of the flight, pointing out that passengers were forced to endure the heat without air-conditioning for hours before being deplaned.

Passengers Deplaned & Not Allowed Back Into Terminal

Another passenger, Abhishek Sharma, also voiced his frustration on social media. He appealed to Air India to allow his parents and other stranded passengers to return home. Sharma further stated that how passengers, after being deplaned, were not allowed back into the terminal because immigration procedures had already been completed.

Visuals shared by passengers depicted a dire scene with exhausted individuals, including children, sitting on the floor and some removing their shoes in an attempt to cool down. These images displayed the distress and discomfort faced by those on board.

In response to the complaints, Air India's official social media handle expressed regret and assured passengers that their team was actively addressing the delay. They promised to provide necessary assistance and appreciated the passengers' support and understanding during the incident.

DGCA Guidelines Flouted

The ongoing situation has drawn attention to the broader issue of how airlines handle major delays and passenger care. In January, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued guidelines to manage chaotic situations at airports, particularly during peak times or adverse weather conditions.

The SOP directed airlines to cancel flights that are likely to be delayed beyond three hours to prevent passenger inconvenience. Despite these guidelines, the recent incident with Air India suggests that implementation and adherence to these regulations may still be lacking.

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