For the fourth consecutive day, passengers flying Air India had a harrowing time at the Delhi airport. Hundreds of passengers of Air India flights to Kolkata and Lucknow were forced to stay in the aircraft for several hours because their cabin crew was missing.
On Wednesday, passengers of the AI 112 to Kolkata had to wait inside the plane for four hours before the flight could take off.
According to sources, one of the crewmembers didn't report to duty, because of which flight couldn't take off. "The flight was scheduled to take off at 1.30pm and we were given the boarding card on time. But the flight did not take off and the cabin crew failed to explain why the flight was getting delayed. They even refused to de-board us," said a passenger who was on board. The flight finally
took off around 5.30pm after the airline arranged for another crewmember.
The national carrier said it faced a shortage of cabin crew in the past few days, as it shifted few of its domestic flights to Terminal 3 and also because of the festive season.
"We are facing shortage of cabin crew due to festive season. If at the last minute one of them failed to report, we have to hold departure. This is what happen in this case," said an Air India spokesperson.
Another flight, IC 811 from Delhi to Lucknow, got delayed for more than an hour as the cabin crew reached late. The flight was scheduled to take off at 4.30pm. "What is frustrating is that the airline staff is clueless. They are not ready to tell us why the flight was delayed. There was no food inside the aircraft and we had to wait at the taxiway," said a Lucknow-bound passenger.
Sources said from Sunday, Air India would shift its operation to the new terminal to avoid glitches. On Wednesday, too, Air India’s domestic flight that were shifted to Terminal 3 were delayed and passengers had tough time collecting baggage.