Cockroach, broken seat: UN diplomat shares harrowing Air India flight experience

| Updated: 21 March, 2023 5:04 pm IST

Cockroach-infested seats, broken chairs, and non-functional entertainment gadgets –  a United Nations diplomat had a harrowing experience traveling onboard a New York to Delhi Air India flight. In a viral tweet, Gurpreet Sondhi, Chief Risk Officer in United Nations shared photos of cockroaches, and a broken chair and complained of  lack of amenities. He wrote, “As a UN diplomat, I’ve flown worldwide, but Air India 102 JFK to Delhi was my worst flight experience: broken seats, no entertainment/call buttons/reading lights, and cockroaches! Poison spray. Disregard for customer care!”

He was so unhappy with the services that he questioned if the Federal Aviation Administration should allow Air India flights to fly in the United States. “Air India doesn’t care about flying us passengers out of John F Kennedy airport with dilapidated aircraft infested with cockroaches. Perhaps the FAA should reconsider allowing them in the USA,” he wrote in another tweet.

Several other Twitter users joined in to share similar experiences they had had onboard Air India flights.

Air India responded to his tweet with a customary message saying, “Dear Sir, we’re sorry for the discomfort. We’ll take this up with our maintenance team on priority. Please share the flight number, seat number, and date of travel. We’ll highlight this with our relevant team for immediate review and action.”

Air India has been in news lately for all the bad reasons. Two back-to-back incidents of unruly passengers urinating on fellow passengers were reported earlier this year. Recently, a female passenger reported that she had found a stone in the in-flight meal served to her. In another viral video recently, the crew members of AI flight and passengers were seen getting into an altercation due to a delay in departure.

India’s national debt-ridden carrier, Air India, was officially handed over to the Tata Group in January last year. The conglomerate had founded the airline in 1932 before it was taken over by the government in 1953. Tata Sons won the bid to purchase Air India for Rs 18,000 crore in October last year through its subsidiary Talace.

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