NEW DELHI: The 16-hour-long nonstop Air India flight from Delhi to Chicago was no less than a nightmare for 340 passengers who had no access to an operational toilet.
According to an Indian newspaper, the flight took off with four non-operational toilets. The long queues outside the remaining eight toilets vanished two hours before the arrival time as the toilets became unusable. The flight had 324 adults, seven infants as well as the 16-member crew onboard.
“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 a full cabin of passengers from Delhi to Chicago and no alternate aircraft could be arranged at such a short notice, it was felt that the eight servicable 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 the newspaper.
However, the other toilets got full by the time the flight crossed the Atlantic and was about two hours away from the destination.
“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,” said an official
Official added that 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.