The 200 passengers, who went through a five-hour ordeal aboard a Spicejet aircraft at Mumbai airport on Monday with no food or water, alleged that the flight crew was unhelpful.
“An elderly woman passenger nearly had asthamatic attack but the crew did not offer medical assistance. They had switched off the air-conditioning and we were feeling suffocated,” said Srinivas Shete, an Andheri based cinematographer.
Monday’s incident of alleged “callousness” by the flight crew is not an isolated case. On Sunday, Andheri resident Arun Jain’s blood pressure shot up after a heated argument with a Jet Lite official. The airline cancelled its Mumbai-bound flight from Indore at the last minute leaving 100 passengers to spend the night at Indore airport.
The last week witnessed at least four cases of long waits at airports, abusive run-ins between fliers and airline staff and most importantly denial of basic facilities such as food and water to passengers. “Hospitality seems to be their least priority,” said Jain.
Frequent fliers claim peak season rush has made airlines complacent about service standards. “It appears the passengers comfort does not matter to them as long as booking keep pouring,” said Milan Zatakia, national president, Air Passenger Association of India, a body formed by fliers.
Airlines defend so some delays are beyond their control but passengers fail to understand that. “Sometimes because of bad weather the air traffic control officials give you a take-off slots a hour behind the original departure time. We try our best to keep passenger updated about the developments,” said a Spicejet spokesperson.
Jet Airways spokesperson said that according to their company policy a flight’s air safety is the most important. “If that leads to delays passengers should understand,” he said.