Irate passengers, including Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, protested to Air India officials in Kochi when the Sharjah-bound Air India Express flight was delayed at the international airport.
Tempers ran high as the Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram-Sharjah flight, which was scheduled to leave at 10.45 am on Tuesday, could not take off on time as it arrived in Kochi late, airport sources said.
Though the 85 passengers, including the minister, were allowed to board the flight, the crew hesitated to operate the service due to Crew Duty Time limitation guidelines of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
After spending over an hour in the plane, the Minister disembarked and complained to the Air India Airport manager, Muthukoya, about the inconvenience caused to passengers by the delay.
The flight left in the evening via Thiruvananthapuram after a six hour delay.
Passengers also alleged that they were not provided refreshments, a charge denied by the national carrier.