>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The plane was taking off and was climbing steep at an angle of may be 45 degrees. Even the crew were all seated with their seat belts fastened. Then started the click, clack ,click..clack... Within few seconds some of the passengers were up, like in our transport buses. Without listening to the calls from the crew, they start the balancing act and journey towards the toilet. With a smile on the lips, and a mocking look at those fools still seated, as if” I do this every day, I am used to this”. The first one itself manages to make a mess of the toilet. He successfully litters the toilet, urinates everywhere , except in to the toilet, and packs the tissues in to all holes and crevices , except where they were supposed to be and defenitely in to the wash basins. Once that is over, then it was the waiting for the food and drinks trolley. When the stewardess offer one drink, they ask for three. One could hear ,the please, please, beggings for more, visibly irritating the crew. After that, it is snoring time encroaching the neighbor’s seats, till reaching the destination. Before landing, there is the usual announcement "In a few minutes from now, we will be landing..passengers are requested to remain seated until the plane comes to a complete stop and the seat belt sign is off”. But when the wheels at the nose end have just touched the tarmac, it is again the click clack click clack., standing up in between the seats with great difficulty, causing all inconveniences to everyone, except themselves.
In-flight passenger misconduct, besides causing hardships and inconvenience to the passengers and the cabin crew, has been one of the main reasons for unscheduled and emergency landings. For example, the diversion of Air India’s Dubai-Calicut flight to Mumbai, after a passenger allegedly misbehaved with a fellow woman passenger, is estimated to have cost the airline about Rs 2 million.
The unprecedented case of unruly passenger behavior in the country came about when around 20 Air India passengers—who like hundreds of others found their flight diverted to Mumbai because of fog and technical glitches at Delhi airport—stopped their co-passengers and 12 flight attendants from leaving the aircraft that was parked on the Mumbai tarmac from a Saturday evening to Sunday morning.
Often some passengers get drunk. It is as if they are seeing liquor for first time in life, and the whole purpose of the journey is to drink. I remember the pathetic situation of a lady whose husband got drunk and started insulting fellow passengers. And the saddest part is that some others enjoy the whole show, and never bother to interfere.
Till few years before, most of the flights used to keep some creams and colognes inside the toilet. They disappear within few minutes. Now, I don’t see any such foolishness from the part of the airlines.
It is as if we have no patience for anything. If they announce “ the use of mobile phone is not permitted inside the plain”, then immediately someone will start talking on the mobile. It would not look so funny if these events do not happen after every announcement. It is as if we are waiting for an announcement, to break it. With the result of all these, the service offered in the gulf sector is far inferior to that offered in other destinations, especially to the Europe or US.
I have not seen this kind of in flight behavior in any other sector. The few people who are seated in the plane will definitely not be us.
I don’t know why some passengers keep on repeating this show after so many years of travelling up and down. It is more to do with our etiquettes and civic sense. I wonder how and when we could improve on this.