Passengers suffer on 16-hour Air India flight without a single working toilet

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The journey from Delhi to Chicago on Saturday’s Air India’s nonstop flight  became dreadful for its 340 passengers as all the toilets in the Boeing 777 were unusable, Times of India reported.

The Chicago-bound Air India flight took off from Delhi Airport with only eight out of twelve toilets functioning. These eight toilets were also out of order shortly and passengers had no option but to wait for the aircraft to land.

During the 16-hour-long-journey, passengers were served a meal, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. They queued up in front of the toilets which were soon closed.

As the passengers remained seated with both their stomach and bladder full, the situation became so bad that the staff was seriously considering diverting the flight to Toronto. However, the plan could not materialise and the aircraft continued towards its destination.

What Air India says

“The Boeing 777-300 (VT-ALJ) flew into Delhi from Hyderabad on Friday night. Four of its 12 toilets were clogged and we tried to clear them by nitrogen flushing but could not do so. Since the aircraft was booked to take passengers to Chicago from Delhi and no alternate aircraft could be arranged at such a short notice, it was felt that the eight serviceable toilets will be enough for the journey and the plane was released under minimum equipment list (meaning with an issue that can be tackled later),” a senior AI official was quoted as saying by TOI.

“In Delhi we tried to clear the four toilets using nitrogen flushing. But the toilet pipes were choked with passengers flushing all kinds of stuff like plastic bottles and sanitary napkins into the toilets.

“Opening up the system would have taken time and so the plane was released under MEL. Now once it lands in Chicago, the plane will be grounded and the toilets serviced in entirety. It will be released for the flight back to Delhi only after the entire system is clear,” the official added.

Similar incidents

This incident is not the first in recent times which raises doubts over its maintenance. A few days ago, Bangalore-bound domestic Air India flight from Delhi had to make an emergency landing at Hyderabad due to the stink coming out of one of the front lavatories.

Last August, Air India’s Newark-Mumbai nonstop flight with over 300 people on board had to make an unschedule stop at Istanbul as none of the toilets were flushing.

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And before that, an Australia-Delhi flight had to be grounded in Sydney due to all toilets getting clogged.

According to the official, airlines in some parts of the world, including India, face the issue of passengers flushing all kinds of stuff in toilets that leads to choking.

Published on 16 March 2017

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