Hyderabad: It seems straight out of Ripley’s Believe it or not! A rat can indeed throw flight schedules asunder. A pointer to this possibility happened at the RGIA in Shamshabad where a rat menace caused considerable inconvenience to passengers here at Shamshabad airport on Sunday. The tantrums of the panic-stricken crew and passengers caused an unbelievable 11.30 hours delay.
With 250 passengers on board, the Visakhapatnam-bound Indian Airlines (IA) flight AI-352 that was to take-off at 6am Sunday morning was eventually cleared at 5:30pm.
‘Trouble’ started when one of the crew members noticed a rat jumping in the aircraft. It took one hell of effort before Airport Traffic Control (ATF) team could capture the ‘animal’ and give the green signal for take-off. Among those bearing the brunt was a passenger, who failed to take the exams for which he had booked the flight while another passenger expressed anger as he was supposed to attend a relative’s funeral. Irritated at the delay, and their patience running out, around 50 passengers cancelled their tickets.
The passengers were angry because the carrier failed to arrange another aircraft and kept them waiting for a whole day.
"If a technical problem or something like that disrupts schedules, why can't Indian Airlines arrange for another aircraft? They can adjust the passengers in other flights as well,” a passenger voiced his concern.
“I had to write an exam today. But this has ruined my day, and probably my career. Can the airlines take responsibility for the damage caused to me?’ wondered a student.
A passenger, who had to attend a funeral of his relative, sobbed “Today is a black day in my life. I could not attend the funerals of my close relative. The airline experience has been nightmarish.”