Mumbai: Man falls ill on flight; passengers find it suspicious, and cause delay

Feb 26, 2016, 09:40 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

It seems, owing to various threat alerts, air passengers these days are overcautious about safety measures while flying to their destinations

It seems, owing to various threat alerts, air passengers these days are overcautious about safety measures while flying to their destinations. A classic example of this was seen on Wednesday evening in a SpiceJet flight. Few passengers, on Wednesday evening, delayed a flight only because they found something ‘suspicious’ in a person falling sick.

At about 7.50am on Thursday, SpiceJet flight SG-487 (Goa-Kolkata via Mumbai) returned from taxiway on medical ground as a passenger, Sounak Kar, complained of unease. However, the flight got further delayed only because five of the passengers, who raised concern over the sick passenger delaying the flight for around three hours.

The Kolkata-bound flight was to push back from bay A2 for its scheduled departure at 7.45am. It, however, returned from the taxiway on medical grounds, and was then parked at bay 87. The aircraft had to return as Kar, who was seated on seat 33C, complained of uneasiness. Airline officials say that, immediately after the aircraft’s door was closed, Kar said that he was feeling uneasy.

“The passenger was immediately approached by the flight attendants, who helped him relax. He was not only given juices, but was also provided with oxygen mask. However, nothing seemed to work for him as, after sometime, he complained of feeling claustrophobic, that resulted in the pilot deciding to return the aircraft to the bay,” explained a senior airline officer.

While the passenger was being treated, five other onboard passengers deplaned from the aircraft. These passengers approached the airline officials only to express that they didn’t want to fly any more. It was when the airline officials asked them the reason that these passengers said they didn't want to fly owing to the sick passenger whom they found to be suspicious.

According to airport officials, the five passengers found the sick passenger to be unreal and hence didn’t want to fly with him. Kar was offloaded after which an anti-sabotage check was carried in the aircraft. The passengers were made to believe the aircraft is safe and sound by not only the airline’s ground staff but also the pilot of the flight. These passengers, after being reassured by the airline, boarded the aircraft. The flight, after a delay of almost two hours, departed at 9.30am.

A written statement from Kar was taken down by the airline. He was kept under observation after being offloaded.

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