NEW DELHI: Air India passengers, especially those travelling on international routes, have long been complaining about the poor upkeep of flight interiors.
Complaints have been lodged about how uncomfortable long-haul journeys are, how they have to make do with broken armrests and an unresponsive onboard entertainment system, but all this could be a thing of the past as the national carrier has decided to embark on a massive exercise to rectify all these issues and spruce up its maintenance exercise.
Alarmed by estimates that seats of 40 per cent of the flights on international destinations are in bad shape, the airline has set a target of sorting out its flight interiors by the year end. Along with the seats, emphasis will be laid on improving the curtains, carpets and lavatories.
Ajay Anand, a passenger travelling from New York to Delhi on an Air India last week took to the twitter to vent out his anger. “Flew AI102 on aircraft VT-ALR last week...extremely disappointed with condition of seats. Broken seat back on 48K !!”
Incidentally, Dilip Sahay, on the same route, claimed that washrooms on AI101 (Delhi-New York) and 102 (New York-Delhi) were out of order on July 29 and Aug 14. “Xtremely disappointed with the awful state of Business Class!!” he tweeted. Passengers have backed their claims by posting pictures of broken seats and dirty linen.
One of the passengers travelling on the 16-hour flight to San Fransisco from Delhi last month had complained about broken armrests. Luckily, he was provided with another seat on request.
In his reaction, Air India CMD Ashwini Lohani said they were committed to matching up with passengers’ expectations. “These initiatives taken for the betterment of the services for passengers will not only make them believe us more, but also help us win them over again. The focus is to have better seat quality, proper reading lights and galleys and other interiors.”
The onboard entertainment service is also being refurbished in keeping with the taste and requirement of passengers. The entertainment materials will be monitored now ever month. The unresponsive screens would also be monitored regularly. Previously Air India had issues with its TV screens which remained blank; most of the time due to technical issues.