Unruly passengers allegedly manhandled cabin crew members and threatened to break open the cockpit door of Air India’s Boeing 747 aircraft on Thursday (2) after their Delhi-Mumbai flight was delayed for nearly five hours due to a technical problem, according to an airline official.
Air India spokesperson said on Saturday that the operating crew has been asked to submit a detailed report on the “reported misbehaviour” by some passengers.
“The AI865 flight on Thursday got delayed as it developed a technical snag. It had to return to the bay. Passengers started knocking on the cockpit door, asking and taunting the pilots to come out,” an airline official told PTI.
“One male passenger even said that he will break open the cockpit door if the pilots didn’t come out,” the official said, adding the situation inside the plane “went from bad to worse”.
Passengers were stuck inside the plane for approximately five hours, the official added.
According to the official, a female passenger allegedly even manhandled a cabin crew member, grabbing her arm in order to open the main exit gate quickly.
An official of aviation regulator DGCA said that they have asked Air India to take action against the “unruly behaviour” of passengers.
As per the 2017 rules of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), breaching the cockpit compartment is a “level-3 violation” and the passenger committing the act can be put on the airline’s “no-fly list” for two years or more.
A minor physical abuse such as grabbing, pushing and kicking of a crew member is a “level-2 violation” under which a passenger can be put on the no-fly list for up to six months.
Once the airline recommends banning the passenger by putting him or her on its no-fly list, the DGCA takes the final decision.
Other airlines can decide if they want the passenger on their respective no-fly list or not.
“The flight AI 865 of 2nd January was considerably delayed due to technical reasons. Air India management have asked the operating crew for a detailed report on the reported misbehaviour by some passengers. Further action would be considered after getting the report,” the Air India spokesperson said.