Over the past weeks, passengers of Air India (AI) have been forced to deal with flight delays and the hours-long wait at the baggage claim. There have even been reports of protests at the airport with angry passengers going on a rampage.
This state of affairs have now stung the netas too. As per media reports, three cabinet ministers — P Chidambaram, Mamata Banerjee and Malikarjun Kharge, and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rehman Khan faced the same problems on Thursday, Nov 11 evening, according to the Times News Network.
MoS Dinesh Trivedi , one among those hit by the AI turbulence at the IGI, has reportedly shot off a letter to the Prime Minister.
Mr Trivedi has written a two-page letter pointing out how the staff, including pilots, cabin crew and even ground staff, are over-worked making them quite prone to errors.
"I want to bring to your notice the precario US condition in which our national airlines Air India is in, which was earlier the pride of our nation," Trivedi wrote in his letter to Manmohan Singh.
The AI staff is said to have complained that "they are working under a dictatorial and inefficient top management". According to Trivedi, the pilots are forced to report to duty and fly even when they are unwell, in violation of duty hour rules that are in place to prevent 'fatigue'.
Trivedi is also learnt to have narrated the bitter experience of Trinamool Congress MPs, who had to travel to New Delhi on Sunday, Nov 7 to hear Barack Obama's address the Parliament.
When Mamata along with her party colleagues was travelling from Kolkata to Delhi, her flight AI-861 was delayed for over an hour at the Kolkata airport as there was no cabin crew or pilot, Trivedi recalled.
He also informed that the Captain of the flight A K Mohan wore a pair of jeans and T-shirt instead of the uniform as he was "ordered at the last minute to operate flight IC-264 from Delhi to Kolkata and return as AI-861, an international flight to Delhi".
Trivedi has urged the Prime Minister to intervene immediately so that the past glory of the national carrier can be restored; and importantly to make AI safe for passengers.