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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Passenger woes continue at Air India: Now flyer gets ‘metal blade’ in meal on BLR-SFO flight | India News


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NEW DELHI: Passenger woes at Air India show no signs of ebbing. A person flying Bengaluru-San Francisco (AI 175) on June 9 reportedly found a metal blade in his meal which he was able to spit out in time before it could cause any harm. In the past few weeks, AI — where change is still awaited 2.5 years after Tata took over the airline it once founded — has been earning flyers’ ire due to long delays and a poor onboard product.
“Air India food can cut like a knife.Hiding in its roasted sweet potato and fig chaat was a metal piece that looked like a blade. I got a feel of it only after chewing the grub for a few seconds. Thankfully, no harm was done. Of course, the blame squarely lies with Air India’s catering service but the incident doesn’t help the image I have of Air India. What if the metal piece was in the food served to a child?” Mathures paul said on his X Handle @MathuresP.

AI chief customer experience officer Rajesh Dogra said: “AI confirms that a foreign object was found in the meal of a guest aboard one of our flights. After investigation, it has been identified as coming from the vegetable processing machine used at the facilities of our catering partner. We have worked with our catering partner to strengthen measures to prevent any recurrence, including more frequent checking of the processor, especially after chopping any hard vegetables.”
Global supply chain constraints have meant that the planned upgrade of AI’s old aircraft interiors is taking longer than usual. Flight delays have also plagued the airline this summer. The DGCA had recently issued it a show cause for delays of two ultra long hauls to San Francisco. Passengers want Tatas to evaluate their plans for the airline to see whether they are working or not.
Last Saturday a business class passenger on AI Delhi-Newark flight complained “uncooked” food was served onboard and that the seats were dirty. “(That) flight was no less than a nightmare. I booked business class (for an office trip). The seats were not clean, worn out, and of the 35 seats, at least 5 were not functional,” the passenger Vineeth K said. Once the aircraft took off with a “25-minute delay”, he said: “After settling in for 30 minutes post takeoff, I wanted to sleep (at 3.30 AM) and realised that my seat doesn’t recline to a flat bed because it’s not working.”
The DGCA had on May 31, 2024, issued a show cause to AI after delay of two ultra long hauls. “…repeated incidences of passengers being put to discomfort by Air India in violation of various DGCA provisions have come to notice…. AI has violated (rules) on ‘facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights’. Air India is time and again failing in taking due care of passengers and compliance of aforementioned (rules),” the DGCA notice had said.
An increasing number of people, both AI employees and passengers, are now wondering if the airline’s turnaround — which everyone acknowledges is the most challenging one in contemporary aviation given the Maharaja’s state at the time of Tata’s acquiring it in January 2022 — is working.


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