SpiceJet locked passengers on aerobridge for an hour, claims flyer in viral video on Instagram

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadJan 12, 2023 | 10:08

SpiceJet locked passengers on aerobridge for an hour, claims flyer in viral video on Instagram

SpiceJet passengers allegedly locked-in on aerobridge for an hour after boarding. Photo: soumilvlogs/Instagram

Boarding a flight has turned into a trauma-inducing experience for several Indians these days as domestic airlines' hospitality has stooped to record new lows. In the latest, a viral video shows passengers of a SpiceJet flight at Delhi airport stranded at the aerobridge and ignored by the staff.

What happened? The video was posted to Instagram by vlogger Soumil Agarwal. 

  • The incident took place on January 10, on a Delhi-Bengaluru flight SG 8133.
  • Everything was going alright. The boarding had started and passengers had begun to board. 
  • But once the boarding closed and the passengers were making their way to the aircraft through the aerobridge, they were allegedly locked in the space for over an hour as their flight got delayed. 
I understand that sometime flights get delayed. But making the passengers cross the boarding gate, then closing the flight gates and not letting your passengers go beyond any of these 2 ways, and locking them up in the middle is not cool.
- Soumil Agarwal, Vlogger
  • Agarwal also claimed that when passengers, some of them senior citizens, asked for water, they were denied the same. Passengers can be heard asking for water in the video.
  • Passengers reportedly also requested the authorities to let them go back to the waiting area, where they could sit, but they were denied this too.
  • Agarwal said that the airline authorities "went missing" for a while too, refusing to address the problems of the locked-in passengers. 

What did SpiceJet have to say? SpiceJet responded to the allegations saying that the extra delay happened as the incoming crew was not legally allowed to operate. 

The incoming crew was not legal to operate the subsequent flight to Bengaluru and crew was arranged from another incoming flight.
- SpiceJet spokesperson

With regard to other allegations, this is what SpiceJet said:

Water was served to passengers who were on the lower floor near aircraft door and aerobridge passage. The video was shot outside of the boarding gate that had limited access.
- SpiceJet
  • They also claimed to have compensated passengers with service recovery vouchers. 

Did SpiceJet try to avoid compensating passengers? Comments on the viral video have pointed out that SpiceJet may have tried to avoid a higher compensation to the passengers they would be liable to pay if the flight was delayed by more than two hours. 

If a flight gets delayed for more than 2 hours the airline will pay for the flight and the double amount of the basic fare upto 10k whichever is lower. So they tried to act oversmart and started boarding after an hour. That's awful!
- Wrote one user

Another wrote this:

Airlines being liable to compensate customers is true. You can check out the details by clicking here. But the amount or form of compensation depends as airlines have something called 'block time'. Regardless, passengers should be given free-of-cost refreshments in case of a delay of 2 hours.  

How long was the delay? Agarwal claimed in his video that the flight was delayed by nearly three hours. 

  • A SpiceJet spokesperson also mentioned that the flight was delayed "on account of weather disruption in the network". We are not sure what that means, but airlines can wiggle their way out of compensation if the delay is weather related. 
  • Given the recent fog-related delays in North India, SpiceJet may have actually suffered a weather-related disruption at the last minute or they may have used the weather clause in their statement to avoid compensation; after all, the delay seemed to be due to a lack of crew.  

Indian airlines from SpiceJet, and IndiGo to Air India have been slammed with bad press lately over the lack of professionalism by the crew and staff and fighting passengers. Air India's two cases of male passengers urinating on co-passengers seemed and the crew doing next to nothing to handle the situation are the worst of all incidents, other than of course, GO First taking off without 50 passengers. 

Last updated: January 12, 2023 | 12:03
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