A Jet Airways flight from the city to Bhopal had a “near-hijack type” situation after a technical glitch resulted in the airline’s ticketing system allowing booking beyond the capacity, with a family booking 80 tickets in bulk.
The plane was delayed for more than two hours at the city airport as irate passengers got into a verbal duel with each other as well as the airline staff, and did not allow the flight to takeoff.
The issue took place on Jet flight (9W 7083) to Bhopal yesterday.
The matter was finally resolved after the overbooked passengers (a large family headed for a wedding in Bhopal) were denied boarding and the airline compensating them.
A statement from Jet said, “A technical glitch resulted in Jet flight 9W 7083 (S2 4621) BOM-BHO on December 2 being overbooked above the norm. This resulted in certain confirmed guests on the flight being denied boarding.
“The offloaded guests – part of a larger group refused to accept our compensation/ re-accommodation on alternative flights, and together with other members of the group, proceeded to hold the flight for 90 minutes, resulting in some confirmed guests being denied boarding,” it said.
The airline said subsequently all the offloaded guests were duly compensated as per DGCA guidelines, and the technical glitch identified and corrected for subsequent bookings.
A video posted by a passenger shows the fliers shouting at each other, especially the group of family, and also at the staff for not calling in the security. The wedding group had apparently blocked the aircraft doors to prevent it from shutting.
A passenger claimed that a few members of the marriage party even tried to bribe the cabin crew to make some other passengers de-board, so that their family members could fly.
Media reports said the family concerned was connected to a powerful state minister.