Sunday, January 05, 2020

Passengers threaten to open cockpit door on AI flight; DGCA seeks action

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked Air India to act against unruly passengers who banged on the cockpit door and misbehaved with crew of a delayed Delhi-Mumbai flight on Thursday (Jan 2).
While threatening to break open the door, some passengers had asked the Boeing 747’s pilots to come out of the cockpit and explain the situation a few hours after the jumbo jet had returned to the bay at IGI Airport from the runway due to a technical snag. AI is yet to take a call on the issue of beginning proceedings under the strict no fly list against the unruly passengers of this flight.
DGCA chief Arun Kumar said: "We have asked the airline to act against the unruly behaviour."
AI spokesman Dhananjay Kumar said: "A video of few passengers of AI 865 of January 2 is being widely circulated in different forums.That flight was considerably delayed due to technical reasons. AI management has asked the operating crew for a detailed report on the reported Crime Jan 2020misbehaviour by some passengers. Further action would be considered after getting the report."
The 24-year-old B747 (VT-EVA) was to operate as AI 865 at 10.10 am on Thursday. "Passengers had boarded the flight by 9.15 am. The aircraft taxied out at 10 am and returned from the taxiway in about 10 minutes. Attempts were made to rectify the snag. Finally passengers were asked to alight from this ane at about 2.20 pm and sent to Mumbai by another aircraft at 6 pm Thursday," said an AI official. So there was a delay of 8 hours in the passengers taking off for their destination.
Problems on board the B747 (VT-EVA) named Agra began when passengers got restive after waiting for more than a couple of hours for the snag to be rectified.
Videos have emerged showing some young passengers banging on the cockpit door, asking the pilots to come out. “Captain please one out… Loser come out… Come out or we will break the door…” they yell to the cockpit crew. Cockpit is on the upper deck of B747s where AI has its business class.
One passenger in the videos even knows that doing so is against the law and can be heard saying “I do not have a criminal record and don’t want one.” When AI finally asks passengers to alight from the aircraft, another video shows a passenger trying to open the door even as the crew are in the process of doing so. Her co-passengers asked this person to step aside and let the cabin crew open the door. “Don’t do this they will open it,” co-passengers are seen telling this person.
04/01/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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