BOM-DXB Air India Flight Leaves Passengers In A Lurch For 7+ Hrs, Fliers Including Seniors & Kids Clueless As To What Next

Our Editor-In-Chief, Kamiya Jani, was on the flight and has shared her experience.

by Tooba Shaikh
BOM-DXB Air India Flight Leaves Passengers In A Lurch For 7+ Hrs, Fliers Including Seniors & Kids Clueless As To What Next

Air India passengers were left in a lurch after flight AI1983 from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) to Dubai was stuck at its point of origin for more than seven hours. Our Editor-in-Chief, Kamiya Jani, was on the flight and shared her experience. Here’s what happened on what was undoubtedly one of the most mismanaged and frustrating flights for the passengers.

Air India Flight Leaves Passengers In A Lurch For 7+ Hrs

air india flight delay
Image Credits: @kamiya_jani/Instagram

The Air India flight was initially scheduled for 8:25 PM on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Everything ran smoothly until the passengers boarded. As the flight was taxiing to the runway, the pilot announced that there was a technical glitch and they’d have to go back to the bay to fix it. In the announcement, the pilot also mentioned that it would take around 30 minutes to fix the issue.

Around 10 PM, an announcement said that the flight was now ready to take off. At this point when sceptical passengers asked the crew if the flight would indeed take off, the crew passively shrugged off their concerns. Soon, however, another announcement was made which informed the passengers of yet another technical issue which would again take another 30 minutes to fix.

While narrating the incident, Kamiya said, “We went to the runway (for the second time), again he (the pilot) said that oh we got a technical issue, we need to go back to the bay.” At this point, concerned passengers wondered if the plane was even safe enough for the journey anymore and requested to deboard. At first, the crew did not allow deboarding but seeing that already another hour had passed, they allowed it.

Also Read: San Francisco-Bound Air India Flight Delayed By 18hrs; Passengers Tweet, “Left To Suffer With No Air Conditioner”

Issues In Deboarding An International Flight

air india flight delay
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

For those who may not know, deboarding an international flight comes with its own set of issues. First, immigration has to be cancelled and all the checked-in bags of passengers have to be retrieved. All of this cannot be done until the airline officially cancels the flight. Hence, guidance from the airlines is crucial, especially if the passengers are seniors or novices, which was the case for many on the flight.

This crucial aspect was missing. After deboarding, passengers were left in a lurch as there was no authority, no communication and not even a helpdesk put in place to respond to the concerns of passengers. Air India hadn’t yet officially cancelled the flight so those passengers who had booked an alternate flight, could not board it as their luggage wasn’t retrieved and immigration wasn’t cancelled.

It is important to note that many had connecting flights from Dubai and had to miss it because of the mismanagement. There were many senior citizens and kids on the flight too and these long waits took a physical toll on them. On top of that, since there was no communication from the airline, the passengers did not know what to do next.

They didn’t know when the flight would take off and hence, didn’t know if they should go to a hotel or continue to wait at the airport. Since Kamiya had a home in Mumbai, she could at least leave the airport and go home. But those who didn’t, had no clue what to do next. Some passengers were given hotel accommodation and the immigration was officially cancelled when Air India rescheduled the flight.

No Communication Or Guidance From Authorities

air india flight delay
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The passengers then had to wait for their bags. “Thankfully I had not checked in my luggage, I only had one handbag. I walked out but those who had a checked-in bag again had to wait for one more hour to get their bag,” said Kamiya.

The passengers, understandably, were quite frustrated at this point. They were willing to understand that technical issues can occur through no human fault. However, the major issue during the debacle was that there was absolutely no guidance for the passengers.

They had to endure hours of waiting before they were informed that the flight was now rescheduled to 1 PM on Friday, May 31, 2024. The nightmare did not end here though. They got a message that the flight was delayed yet again – this time to 3:30 PM.

Such incidents are frustrating for all passengers and leave a bad impression on foreign tourists as well. Many non-Indians on the flight wondered at the mismanagement by the Indian airline. “There should be a help desk to guide. It was embarrassing that there were foreign tourists wondering how mismanaged is this whole situation,” Kamiya said while narrating the incident.

As an Indian travel platform that is proud of its country’s rich heritage, Curly Tales would like to humbly request officials from Air India as well as the Aviation ministry to have adequate protocols and guidance systems in place for such incidents. Incidents like this can severely hamper the image of the country and pose a threat to its booming tourism industry.

Also Read: No AC, Passengers Faint, Dinner On Ramp: Air India Delhi-San Francisco Flight Delayed By 20 Hours

Have you had similar experiences? Let us know in the comments section below!

Cover Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons and @kamiya_jani/Instagram

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