An inevitable chaos was created when in a bizarre turn of events, Jet Airways flight 9W7083 scheduled from Mumbai to Bhopal on 2nd December 2016, allegedly asked confirmed passengers to deboard from the flight so that they can accommodate an 'influential' family.
Though Jet Airways is well known for messing up with passenger commitments and awkward delayed flights, this one still rose a whole level above. In our so-called progressive society, it's once again proved (by an airline) that the 'influential' people in India will continue to enjoy uncalled for privileges and the common man will suffer simultaneously.
As reported by sources, a group of 80 people were on their way to Bhopal for a wedding and out of which 17 people failed to reach the airport on time and were subsequently not allowed to board, which also resulted in the cancellation of their bookings giving other people preference. Apparently, these 17 people were able to pass through the security check (even after their tickets were not confirmed) but as the boarding gates were closed they were not allowed to enter the aircraft. Immediately, the remaining 63 passengers belonging to the same group took a non-sensical stand and started threatening the airlines that they would get off the flight if the other 17 were not allowed to board the same flight. The family was hell-bent on flying together holding back the entire flight.
An obvious chaos was created following this debacle and the flight started getting delayed. Among the passengers on board was a man en-route from Singapore to attend his father's funeral rites, persistently requesting to end the ruckus and continue with the proceedings. But the authorities conveniently ignored the request with no signs of shame. This, of course, was only one of the many untold stories. There were many other passengers who were suffering because of an adamant family with political backing. The scene turned ugly when the members of wedding group blocked the aircraft doors to prevent it from shutting down.
Since the airline authorities were in a pickle, they resorted to an absurd way to pacify this situation. Jet Airways staff began trying to convince other passengers who were on the flight to give up their seats so that they could accommodate those 17 leftover passengers from the group. To incentivize passengers to deplane, Jet Airways offered a sum of Rs. 10,000 to each passenger. After many discussion and arguments, five people fell for the concession amount and got off the plane. The flight was still stuck as 12 more from the group had to be accommodated. The pilot announced that the Bhopal airstrip was scheduled to close down for routine repairs at 9:30 am. And finally the flight, initially scheduled to land at 0710 hours, finally took off at 0800 and landed at 0910 hours. By this time, fliers had lost their cool.
This incident has set another example of the shameful joke our country is becoming and leaves us with a lot of questions. How can an airline company fall for such demands made by a group of people and decided to not take a stand against them and fell like squirming worms to their feet? How were the 17 allowed to get through to the boarding gates if they weren't confirmed passengers? Is it safe to assume that they were simply rushed through a security check in what would be a serious security breach? Also, a group of people threatening the pilot and the crew, forcing their will upon them and in effect causing an entire flight to stand still - doesn't that simply count as hijacking?
A girl with Atlas in her hands, adventure in her eyes, wanderlust in her blood. Professionally, she creates and curates socially relevant viral-worthy content. Abhilasha's life and work led her to her current role as an Entrepreneur.