The air conditioning system of a Delhi-bound flight of Air India from Bagdogra malfunctioned on Sunday, leaving passengers breathless and complaining of suffocation.
A video went viral on social media of passengers fanning themselves due to the lack of air conditioning halfway through the flight. The passengers were also seen complaining to the staff and crew on board about the massive malfunction.
For the entire second part of the flight, the 168 passengers on board relied on whatever they could get their hands on — from newspapers to instruction manuals — to keep themselves were from sweating and suffocating.
After much complaining, the flight cabin allegedly assured the passengers that the air conditioning system would turn back on after the problem had been resolved, but they failed to live up to their promise. The lack of air conditioning led some of the passengers to put on oxygen masks, but that didn’t make the situation any better.
Passengers speaking exclusively to India Today said they discovered even before take off that the AC wasn’t functioning. But, when they brought this to the notice of the Air India staff, they were told that the system would work just fine after the flight takes off.
An Air India spokesperson said the passengers complained of malfunctioning of the air conditioning system in the flight and protested.
Many people took to Twitter to complain about the air conditioning problem and raise questions about the quality of Air India flights.
The Indian government decided on Wednesday that they will privatise debt-laden Air India. The privatisation will be the first step the government took to offload an airline struggling to turn a profit in the face of an overly competitive atmosphere with low-cost rivals.