How does a 6 am flight take off 45 minutes late?

On Wednesday, I was taking the 6 am Air India (Indian Airlines IC 601) flight to Delhi. The ride to the bus from the terminal (after the announcement for boarding) started at 5:50 am. The aircraft was parked in a far away bay (took 15 minutes to get there by bus). All the passengers on the flighted were just a single bus load. The pilot announced door closure at 6:17 am. We finally took off at 6:45 am. We arrived half hour late in Delhi at 8:30 am.

It requires great effort to introduce such significant delays for the first flight of the day — that too to the country’s capital from its financial capital. People taking the 6 am flight are doing it because they need to get to some place in Delhi by 9 am or so. And yet, this kind of callousness to ensure a 45-minute delayed departure.

I asked one of the cabin crew about the delay and the response I got was that the crew arrived late because of traffic delays outside the airport. Madam, I too was part of the ‘traffic’ and all it meant was a 3-minute extra walk since passengers had to get off a little away since there was some construction activity happening. No real reason for the delay. If all passengers could be there on time, there is no reason for the cabin crew to be late.

In today’s day and age, all brands need to go the extra mile for customer service. Air India is doing its bit – to help its competitors. Which brings us to the bigger question: what business does the government have trying to run airlines? More on that some other time.

4 thoughts on “How does a 6 am flight take off 45 minutes late?

  1. On flights: I was once on a flight from Seattle to Amsterdam. After a long delay flight actually came upto the runway and then returned back to the port. Cabin crew told that they would have to disembark somebody’s luggage who was unable to board on plane!.

    On govt: I think govt. should be in the business of making policies and not running the actual business.

  2. Well – I’m not sure if this was your first experience with delayed flight or may be this one was the most frustrating one and it found a place here (because I’m sure you are traveling more then me). Well there’s no hiding that the things on our country’s airport are very disorganized. From top to bottom everyone has a mind set ‘So what, this is India – nothing can change here’ You should call yourself lucky as it was only a delay of 45 mins, my last experience was an 8 hour flight from B’lore – Delhi and that too on a Non-government airline – we didn’t have even water on the air craft – All we got in reply of our complain was – ‘we’ll look into it’ which will never happen I’m sure….
    Indian skies have definitely changed after the introduction of ‘Air Deccan’ but the ground still sucks 🙂

  3. Hi!
    This was OK. Only 45 minutes delay. That’s acceptable.
    Now, comes the unacceptable.
    I had a flight Go-Air, it should better go away. It took off about 3 hours late at 1am from B’lore to Delhi. Landed back at B’lore at about 3 am. 🙂
    Then the flight won’t take off, they asked us to run to book tickets for the next morning flight. Well, we didn’t do that and said that we will fly in this plane only. Then the pilot and crew left us, without anything. We were on tarmac, foodless, waterless till 4pm. Thats 13 hours friend. Finally after a lot of halla-gulla they booked our tickets in Spice and Sahara. We arrived in Delhi almost 20 hours late. Missed my train, lost money in reservation as well as in taxi I had to take. Desperation and frustration were the part of the parcel.

    Another incident, I had to go from Bombay to B’lore, Deccan flight supposed to land me in B’lore at about 8:30 am so that I could go to office. Well it turned out that I landed in B’lore at 8:30pm.

    I am a patient man now. :))

    Cheers to these airlines. They teach us virtues.