Pune: Over 400 Air India Passengers Face Delays Due to Aircraft Snags

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Pune, 1st June 2024: More than 400 passengers booked on two Air India flights between Delhi and Pune faced significant delays and discomfort on Thursday due to technical issues.

Around 200 passengers on flight AI-857 from Delhi to Pune endured an hour-long wait inside the aircraft without air-conditioning after boarding. Scheduled to take off at 1:05 PM and arrive in Pune at 4:10 PM, passengers had boarded the plane by 12:30 PM.

“As we sat, warm air started blowing. We thought it would be resolved once we took off, but the flight didn’t taxi on time, and there seemed to be a technical issue. Engineers were seen attending to the plane, but it soon felt like a hot tin box. Many passengers became restless and demanded to deboard. Around 1:30 PM, we were told to deboard,” one passenger recounted.

After disembarking, the passengers were taken to the domestic transfer area where new boarding passes were issued. “Some passengers had just arrived from the USA on connecting flights after an 18-hour journey. We were given water and juice. After a long period with no updates, we were informed that a new aircraft would fly at 4:22 PM. We finally reached Pune at 6:20 PM,” the passenger added.

Attempts to contact an Air India spokesperson for a statement were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued a show-cause notice to the airline concerning a separate incident involving a 24-hour delay and insufficient cabin cooling on a flight from Delhi to San Francisco.

In another incident on Thursday, Air India’s Pune-Delhi flight (AI-0858) was delayed by around three hours, causing some passengers to spend the night at Delhi airport. Originally scheduled to depart at 4:00 PM and arrive in Delhi at 6:15 PM, passengers were informed of the delay only 15-20 minutes before boarding time.

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One passenger shared their experience, “We had a connecting flight to Chandigarh (AI-0463) at 9:00 PM. The crew assured us that the aircraft would wait. However, our flight from Pune took off at 7:13 PM and landed in Delhi at 9:15 PM. Upon arrival, we were shocked to learn that the flight to Chandigarh had already departed and the next flight was at 5:50 AM the following day.”

The airline eventually provided hotel accommodations around midnight after prolonged discussions with affected passengers.