Air India's Bengaluru-San Francisco flight takes off 20 hours later due to brake issue

20 flyers test positive before rescheduled take-off, forced to cancel their US trip
Air India plane whose flight was delayed 20 hours due to technical snag (Photo | EPS)
Air India plane whose flight was delayed 20 hours due to technical snag (Photo | EPS)

BENGALURU: An Air India aircraft with 196 passengers on board which was to take off on Monday afternoon to San Francisco but did not due to brake issues finally ended up taking to the skies on Tuesday at 12.37 pm, almost 20 hours late.

The issue caused much heartburn among flyers as they were seated for three hours inside the flight on the tarmac on Monday before the airline told them they would be able to fly only the following day.

The delay had terrible consequences for 20 flyers as they tested positive in a round of RT-PCR tests taken at the airport before the next day flight and had to cancel their trip. After the passengers alighted from the flight on Monday evening, many were angry and upset and staged a protest before they were pacified by Air India officials, said sources.

According to a highly placed Air India source, "It was an issue pertaining to brakes that was detected by the pilots just before the SFO flight was to take-off. As a precautionary measure and giving priority to the safety of passengers, it was decided to set right the glitches before taking to the skies."

An official spokesperson of Air India said that it was a technical issue. "We took good care of the passengers after the flight was cancelled. We offered them food, paid accommodation at hotels if they wanted to stay there on Monday night or the taxi fare if they wanted to get back to the City and return the following day. We also paid for another round of RT-PCR tests for all passengers." He did not give details on the snag.

A source in the know of things said, "Out of those who had to undergo RT-PCR tests at the airport, 20 of them tested positive. They had negative RT-PCR certificates earlier. They need to undergo quarantine now and will be allowed to take an international flight only after January 31."

A few passengers took to Twitter to convey their grievances over the lack of information being provided to them while they were being seated inside and later. Asked about it, an Air India source said, "It takes considerable time to arrive at a big decision on the cancellation of a day's flight. We were in the process of taking a call and were not in a position to tell the passengers anything."

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The New Indian Express