Air India has been in the news a lot recently, but not for the right reasons. There have been several complaints against the airline: from the report of an Air India pilot allegedly assaulting a ground engineer in Chennai, and regular complaints of delays.
However, in a turn around of sorts, a well-meaning pilot potentially redeemed their reputation by making an emergency landing in Mangaluru, to save a Russian patient, Artur Izotov (47), who suffered a stroke mid air last Tuesday. The flight was travelling to Mumbai from Thiruvananthapuram.
"The captain decided to make an emergency landing at 2.02pm after understanding the gravity of the situation," said Air India in a TOI Report.
The latest piece of news comes as a respite to the airline, which has been criticized for years from travelers and passengers. More recently, they were part of a controversy involving Renuka Chowdhury, in which the flight was allegedly delayed for 45 minutes to accommodate the minister's duty free shopping.
When was the last time anyone heard any praise toward Air India? In the wide expanse of the internet, Air India has not had the best reputation.
So far two stewardesses have smiled kindly at me on this Air India flight. I'm scared. (Aside: Khaana milegaa?)
— Sabbah Haji Baji (@imsabbah) February 22, 2015
— Banknet India (@banknet) February 19, 2015
This is nothing new. Air India ground staff is RUDE too. I missed a flight once coz of their BAD ATTITUDE & LETHARGY. http://t.co/5FMsXpFNcp
— Dale Bhagwagar (@DaleBhagwagar) February 20, 2015
Earlier in January, a distressed passenger who lost her baggage wrote an email to PM Narendra Modi to complain about the incident. She wasn't the only one with complaints.
That Air India flight is still trying to take off. It’s been two hrs. People sitting inside without AC, food or water. Spsd to leave at 3pm.
— Mihir Fadnavis (@mihirfadnavis) February 18, 2015
.@airindiain is not a national carrier it's a national shame
— Shaz (@shazarch) February 18, 2015
Air India employee = Zen monk. Flight cancelled, 200 angry passengers but you sit peacefully at the Enquiry counter with your back to them.
— Please Buy Bollybook (@diptakirti) February 16, 2015
Just last week, 2 pilots were also de-rostered when the long tail portion of the flight scraped the runway during touchdown in Mumbai. The 194 passengers barely escaped.
A video of two girls pleading the Air India staff to let them pass the boarding gate went viral on the web a couple of weeks ago. In the video, the girls are seen almost wailing to the officials as they were afraid of missing an exam. The officials, however, didn't seem to be bothered with their pleas.
But this could all be mitigated somewhat by the alert-thinking pilot of flight A1668. Not only did he make a timely landing to save Izotov, the Air India officials also coordinated with the staff of the hospital Izotov was admitted to, and sent his baggage there directly.
The ambulance arrived at 2:08 pm, merely 6 minutes after the landing, and the flight resumed to Thiruvananthapuram by 2:30 pm. An Air India station manager even accompanied Izotov to the hospital.
After undergoing several tests, and being under observation for over 24 hours, Izotov has now been discharged. He is now on his way to Goa, his original destination, via train.
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Updated Date: Mar 02, 2015 17:40:41 IST