Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A passage in India

Indian aviation witnessed the theatre of the absurd and waiting for Godot the other day. Passengers in a no-frills airline on a flight from Ranchi to Delhi via Patna had a novel though nerve-racking experience.
Apparently, a passenger who was booked for Delhi from Ranchi decided to vanish into thin air at Patna airport, without informing the flight attendants. Since the airline has a free seating arrangement, the staff was totally clueless as to who had deboarded and created a ‘security breach’.
The cabin crew got cracking with at least five rounds of manual headcount but to no avail. Someone was missing, it seemed. Next, all the passengers, including elderly ladies but excluding two deputy chief ministers of Bihar and Jharkhand, were asked to deplane and board again with a roll call.
However, that was not the end of the ordeal as the crew carried out yet another headcount just to be absolutely sure! After three hours of being stranded in Patna, the plane finally took off. Oh! the captain didn’t bother to inform the passengers if the headcount did finally match after all.
09/01/07 The idea of India/Economic Times