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Air India: For ‘fresh air’, flyer deploys evacuation slide in Goa | Mumbai News

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Flying into Mumbai, rather trying to do so, in rainy season can be a frustrating experience for passengers and crew with scores of flights getting diverted or delayed by hours. But what happened on Monday night — when premonsoon’s first rains hit the city—shows that this exasperation can take an extreme turn.

Air India’s Ahmedabad-Mumbai (AI 985) was among 20-odd flights which could not land at their destination due to bad weather. This flight got diverted to Goa. At the tarmac of Goa airport, a passenger seated in the emergency exit row got so restless and fidgety during the long wait for take off to Mumbai that he deployed the emergency evacuation slide.

When the crew asked him why he did so, he reportedly said he was feeling “suffocated and wanted some fresh air”! Once that happened, as per rules AI had to first get the chute re-installed before the Airbus A-321 could take off. This further delayed the flight, which finally reached Mumbai.

The A-321 (VT-PPN) had taken off from Ahmedabad around 7.30 pm on Monday. After flying for half an hour, the crew was informed of bad weather in Mumbai and eventually, the plane was diverted to Goa where it landed at 9.40 pm. While waiting in Goa, the passenger deployed the slide. After being reinstalled, the aircraft finally took off for Mumbai at 5.33 am and landed at 6.33 am — a delay of almost 10 hours. In this case, sources say, the airline was not at fault as the plane would have taken off for Mumbai from Goa as soon as weather improved and the flight got an arrival slot. But the deployment of the slide delayed the flight further.

AI did not comment on this incident till the time of going to press. Sources say the airline is in a fix on how to treat this particular passenger can be considered unruly or not. Its officials are learnt to have discussed it with DGCA authorities.

Updated: June 6, 2018 — 4:18 am

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