Indigo Airlines in Trouble: Passengers Angry about Delays

Multiple cases of inefficiency in Indigo airlines causing lengthy delays are being reported on social media by frustrated passengers including bollywood celebrities.

Self proclaimed best domestic airline in India and the winner of Best Low-Cost Airline in India & South Asia 2023, Indigo can’t seem to keep up with its own standards. Multiple cases of Indigo’s inefficiency have surfaced in the past few days. Three days ago, Bollywood actress Radhika Apte, was flying from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar via Indigo flight. After the boarding was announced, Radhika and all her co-passengers went to the aerobridge to board the flight but were locked there for more than 4 hours. She shared the experience on her social media handles by posting a picture of her and her friend sitting on the aerobridge along with other passengers. Radhika wrote, “I had to post this! This morning I had a flight at 8:30. It’s 10:50 now and the flight has still not boarded. BUT the airlines said we were boarding and put all the passengers in the aerobridge and LOCKED IT! The passengers with small babies, elderly people have been locked in for over an hour. The security won’t open the doors. The staff has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE! Apparently their crew hasn’t boarded (sic). Indigo issued an official statement saying that the flight was delayed due to operational reasons. On the same day, Indigo’s Mumbai to Guwahati flight  made an emergency landing in Dhaka, Bangladesh due to sudden bad weather conditions in Guwahati. According to the reports, the flight could not land in Kolkata due to low visibility and the runway in closure at Bhubaneswar airport. The Indigo flight had gotten delayed initially when taking off from Mumbai, close to midnight. Then on 14th January 2024, a video of a passenger slapping the Indigo co-pilot went viral on social media. The passenger was traveling with more than 100 co-passengers from Goa to Delhi via Indigo flight. The passengers had been sitting in the aircraft for over 10 hours, waiting for the flight to take off. When co-captain came out of the cockpit and announced further delay, the passenger ran up from his seat in the last row and slapped him.

The plane was scheduled to take off at 7.40 am but, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, only departed at 5.33 pm because of bad weather including heavy fog limiting visibility. Evgenia Belskaia, a Russian model and actor who was also traveling in the same flight said that when angered & frustrated passengers started questioning the crew and pilot, the pilot blamed the passengers for the delay. The pilot said “The pilot came and said you are asking too many questions and we missed our turn because of this…” Indigo has filed a case against the accused passenger, is in Delhi police custody for now and has been added on the no fly list. The flight was finally diverted to Mumbai after a 12 hour delay. Pictures and videos of passengers having dinner on the tarmac next to the Indigo planes also went viral on social media. Another case of Indigo flight long delay was faced by bollywood actor Ranveer Shorey. He, too, took out his frustration on social media for facing a delay of 10 hours after check-in. In his detailed post, Ranveer accused the airline for pushing back his 2 pm Bangalore to Mumbai flight to midnight and providing passengers with misleading explanations. The actor later discovered that the delay was because of shortage of pilots and not fog. According to the reports, because of this delay, Ranveer was unable to be there on time for his son who was later alone at home. Therefore, Ranveer announced that he will file an official complaint against Indigo for the distressing experience. Hundreds of other airlines’ flights to and from the northern regions of India are being delayed due heavy fog and low visibility. This has caused a lot of trouble for the travelers all around and is causing heavy losses to the airlines. Therefore, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines issued a new protocol on 15th January 2024 by the orders of Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. According to this protocol, airlines will have to cancel "sufficiently in advance" flights that are expected to be delayed by over three hours and inform passengers in real-time about flight status, along with expected departure time, and to avoid overcrowding at airports.