The most ridiculous reason for a flight delay

By Kate Schneider of news.com.au

An Air India employee held up a Delhi-Shanghai flight last Saturday by two hours, all because he refused to sit in economy. Photo / iStock
An Air India employee held up a Delhi-Shanghai flight last Saturday by two hours, all because he refused to sit in economy. Photo / iStock

This has to be one of the most ridiculous reasons for a flight delay we've ever heard of.

An Air India employee held up a Delhi-Shanghai flight last Saturday by two hours, all because he refused to sit in economy. Instead, the maintenance engineer, who was flying on duty, insisted on being given a business class seat, the Economic Times reported.

"The engineer was offered a seat in the economy class since the business class was full," an Air India official said. "He objected to it and insisted on getting a seat in the business class. This delayed the flight."

The man, whose name has been withheld, allegedly acted in violation of the rules, which state that an engineer will get a business class seat only if there is one empty.

Some believe the case is an example of what's going wrong with the airline, which is a state-run carrier.

"This is a clear case of poor man management and total lack of regard from all sides," said Shakti Lumba, former head of operations at IndiGo and Air India.

The airline hasn't had much luck lately. Last month, footage emerged of the moment one of its Airbus planes crashed to the ground while being moved.

The disused Air India A320 aircraft was being transported near Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad when the incident occurred. It was being shifted from the airport to the airline's cadet training facility via a crane mounted on top of a 16-wheelbase transport carrier.

However, it was the first time such an operation had been carried out in the country, and it didn't go to plan. The carrier ended up toppling under the weight of the plane, sending it crashing into a wall below.

And that's not all. Last year, it was left red-faced for being forced to cancel a flight after forgetting to organise its pilots. Instead the airline had to accommodate its 200 passengers in a hotel overnight, a major expense for the already struggling carrier.

Soon after, a recruitment drive ended in "deep embarrassment" when nobody showed up, according to the local news website Hindustan Times.

It has also copped criticism for demanding that 600 "overweight" cabin crew members - nearly 20 per cent of the team - shape up if they wished to remain assigned to in-flight work.

- news.com.au

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