IndiGo flight

1. IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Varanasi faces unusual incident, returns to aerobridge before take-off.
2. A Crew member notices an overbooked passenger standing at the rear end during taxiing, triggering action.
3. Prompt response leads to return to the airport, ensuring passenger safety and addressing the issue.

Mumbai, May 21: An IndiGo flight bound from Mumbai to Varanasi encountered a unique setback on Tuesday, compelling it to return to the aerobridge at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) just before take-off.

The reason? A crew member spotted an overbooked passenger standing at the rear end of the aircraft as it was taxiing, prompting immediate action.

The incident unfolded around 7:50 am, catching both passengers and crew by surprise. Sandeep Pandey, one of the travelers aboard flight 6E 6543, recounted the unexpected turn of events.

“It was then that the crew alerted the pilot, and the flight had to return to the terminal,” he shared.

Overbooking, a common practice in the airline industry, aims to minimize the likelihood of flights departing with empty seats. However, this situation highlighted the challenges it can pose, especially when passengers are mistakenly accommodated beyond the aircraft’s capacity.

Akhilesh Chaubey, another passenger bound for Varanasi on business, elaborated on the sequence of events.

“The flight returned to the bay, and the passenger was offloaded. The airline then conducted a thorough check of the cabin baggage of all passengers before resuming the take-off, albeit with a delay of at least an hour,” he explained.

Despite the delay, flight 6E 6543 eventually departed at 8:41 am, as confirmed by the flight tracking website Flightradar24. However, the incident did not escape public attention, with passengers expressing their dissatisfaction over the disruption.

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In response to inquiries, an IndiGo spokesperson addressed the incident, attributing it to an error in the passenger boarding process.

“There was an error during the passenger boarding process, wherein a standby passenger was allotted a seat reserved for a confirmed passenger. The error was noticed prior to the departure of the aircraft, and the standby passenger was de-boarded,” the spokesperson stated.

Upon arrival at Varanasi around 10:30 am, Amit Mishra, another passenger onboard, voiced concerns over the implications of such delays, especially for travelers adhering to tight schedules.

“Such delays due to the airline’s mistakes need to be addressed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation,” he urged.

Indeed, regulatory bodies like the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) play a crucial role in ensuring passenger rights and holding airlines accountable for deviations from established norms.

The DGCA’s civil aviation regulations, enacted in 2016, outline penalties for airlines denying boarding to passengers even with valid tickets.

As per these regulations, airlines are exempt from compensating passengers if an alternative flight is arranged within an hour of the scheduled departure.

However, in cases where an alternative flight is provided within 24 hours of denial of boarding, the airline is obligated to pay 200% of the booked one-way basic fare, plus airline fuel charge, with a maximum cap of ₹10,000.