'Blade' served with roasted sweet potato and fig chaat aboard AI flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco

The passenger, Mathures Paul, has posted a message on platform X with a photograph of the meal served aboard AI 175 flight.
A blade (highlighted in image) was found in a bowl of roasted sweet potato and fig chaat served to a passenger on the Air India flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco on June 9, 2024.
A blade (highlighted in image) was found in a bowl of roasted sweet potato and fig chaat served to a passenger on the Air India flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco on June 9, 2024.Photo | X @MathuresP

BENGALURU: A flyer on a recent Air India flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco detected a sharp metal cutter in the lunch provided on board. The passenger, Flyer Mathures Paul, removed it from his mouth just before swallowing it, saving himself from a potential life-threatening situation.

"Air India food can cut like a knife," Paul said, narrating his experience.

Paul, a journalist from Kolkata, who was flying business class, said he found a metal piece that looked like a blade in the roasted sweet potato and fig chaat that he was having. "I got a feel of it only after chewing the grub for a few seconds," he said.

"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?" he noted.

The incident occurred on board flight AI 175 on June 9, after the flight took off at 1.50 pm. The post, put up on June 10, became popular on Monday.

While the airline claimed the foreign object belonged to a vegetable processing machine of its catering partner, the incident also poses a serious security issue as to how a dangerous object was allowed inside a flight, said sources familiar with the issue. 

Rajesh Dogra, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Air India, said in a statement, "Air India 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 of any hard vegetable. Air India has engaged with the affected customer and deeply apologises for this experience."

A source told TNIE, "This poses a potential risk to all passengers on board. A sharp metal object being found inside a flight can be misused in any manner if it falls into the wrong hands. This calls for a deeper probe."

The incident comes close on the heels of another passenger, Vineeth K, who came out against the uncooked food served on the Tata Group-owned AI flight while flying from New Delhi to Newark recently. Vineeth had complained that the seat he was provided was faulty, the food served was "uncooked," the seat covers were dirty and the television was not functioning.

A blade (highlighted in image) was found in a bowl of roasted sweet potato and fig chaat served to a passenger on the Air India flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco on June 9, 2024.
Uncooked food, worn out seats and more: AI business-class flyer recounts 'nightmare' flight to US

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