Angry Air India passengers have been tweeting comments and pictures of broken seats, torn storage space and dysfunctional toilets in flights, particularly international routes.
While the problems of poor cabin upkeep have been reported earlier by cabin crew in-flight reports, the latest flurry of angry complaints has hit social media over the past few days.
On August 17, Ajay Anand, a passenger travelling from New York to Delhi tweeted, “Flew AI102 on aircraft VT-ALR last week...extremely disappointed with condition of seats. Broken seat back on 48K !!”
The same day Dilip Sahay, who was on the same route, said that washrooms in AI101 (Delhi-New York) and 102 (New York-Delhi) were out of order on July 29 and Aug 14.
“Xtremely disappointed with the awful state of Business Class!!” he tweeted.
Poor cabin maintenance on Boeing 747s and B777-300ERs has drawn flak, said cabin crew sources. For instance, in the B747 named VT-EVA emergency buttons in 7 out of 14 toilets do not work. “What if a passenger passes out inside the lavatory? Nobody would know,” said a cabin crew personnel requesting anonymity.
The flight attendant added that an elderly passenger travelling from New Jersey to Mumbai two months ago had a lucky escape. “The passenger had collapsed inside the washroom. Luckily, he had not locked the doors and a co-traveller happened to use the loo around the same time.”
AI chief Ashwani Lohani did not comment on the cause of the poor upkeep. “We are taking all measures to improve the cabin,” he said.
Some angry tweets against AI were backed with pictures. On August 16, for instance, Amit Bansal travelling from Newark to Mumbai tweeted, “Dirty tray area, broken chairs, torn storage space, life jackets falling ahead in the leg space area,” with photographs.