Air India Pilot Locked Out Of Cockpit After Bathroom Break

In what would otherwise make for a great comedy sketch, an Air India captain took a bathroom break during a flight Tuesday night and returned to find a jammed cockpit door. But according to a report by USA Today, this was no laughing matter: after all efforts failed to open the door – even from the inside – the co-pilot landed the plane at the nearest airport, where ground maintenance staff fixed the problem. The plane then resumed its flight, which was making its way from New Delhi to Bangalore.

This is the second strange cockpit incident that’s happened with Air India recently; earlier this month, pilots allowed flight attendants to sit in their chairs while they napped, and one of the attendants accidently disengaged the plane’s autopilot function. In both instances, no passengers were injured.

Fat flight attendants welcomed back to Air India, but only if thinner

The cringe-worthy debate over larger fliers has generally been limited to passengers, and it looks like that’s where it will remain. Over the summer, it looked as though flight attendants were being brought into the cross-hairs, when Air India fired several for being too fat. Well, the carrier is willing to forgive and forget … as long as the ladies have slimmed down a bit.

According to The Globe and Mail, Air India is “inviting them back,” it says of the plus-sized flight attendants, “because of a shortage of cabin crew.” There’s only one catch: they have to have shed some pounds. The airline doesn’t want those who haven’t taken steps to remedy the causes of their termination.

So, the airline’s message seems to be, “We really need your help, but only if you aren’t too fat. The shortage isn’t that bad.”

What I want to know is if Air India is offering a relocation package. There are some hotties in Mexico who are looking for work in the sky.


[photo by BriYYZ via Flickr]

Homesick Indian man locks himself in airplane bathroom for a free trip back home

An Indian man working as an airplane cleaner in the Saudi city of Medina was feeling so homesick, that he locked himself in the bathroom of an Air India plane for a free trip back home.

The man was discovered 30 minutes into the flight, most likely when the flight attendants unlocked the bathroom door to allow passengers to relieve themselves. The 25 year old man was not carrying his passport, as the cleaning firm he was working for, had taken it away from him (most likely to prevent an incident like this).

Air India points out that there was no real reason for concern, as the man had to clear airport security before he could go to work. Once in India, he was arrested and booked under several sections of the passport law. It is very unlikely that they’ll send him back, since he is an Indian citizen. The procedure for getting the plane ready for passengers only involves an announcement asking ground crew to leave the aircraft, and not an actual check that they do so.

Pilots and crew brawl at 30,000 feet because of a flight attendant

The wide open skies turned into the Wild West on an Air India flight when the pilots and crew started fist-fighting. The plane was heading to New Delhi from Sharjah, UAE when the altercation that had started before the plane took off heated up.

This was not a remake of the 1980’s movie Airplane, although the scenario that unfolded at 30,000 feet sounds as if it could be. Picture an Airbus A-320 bouncing around in the skies, if you will.

The fight started when one of the pilots supposedly molested one of the female flight attendants. In response to the allegation, the pilot and the co-pilot and two of the crew members threw punches in a display of fisticuffs that began in the cockpit and spilled out into the galley.

As they looked on, the 106 passengers probably wondered what the heck was going on and who exactly was flying the plane, as in should one of them offer to take control.

By the end of the incident that has subsequently grounded the four brawlers, one of the female flight attendants and one of the co-pilots did end up with bruises. There is an investigation as to what happened exactly. Sorting out who did what may not be all that difficult considering there were eyewitnesses.

I’m wondering if beverage service was disrupted. It sounds like this would have been a flight to add popcorn into the snack option. You can read more about this truth is stranger than fiction story here.

Air India fires 10 employees for being fat

State-run Air India gave 10 air hostesses the boot last week for being “exceptionally overweight.”

According to Reuters, a medical board in India had declared them “unfit for duty,” and they had been grounded for two to three years each. Air India finally decided to cut them off — and while several of the air hostesses apparently approached the New Delhi High Court about challenging the firings, the case was quickly scrapped.

This isn’t like back in the 60’s when American flight attendants had to meet almost ridiculous weight restrictions (read our Interview with a Retro Stewardess here), or is it? A five foot 18 year old air hostess for Air India had to weigh under 110 pounds, while hostesses ages 26-30 had a little more leeway at 123 pounds.

The air hostesses, who were between 24 and 70 pounds over their allotted weights, were declared medically incapable of doing their jobs. Now, they are jobless. USA Today spoke with one woman, Sheila Joshi, who had 27 years of service under her blazer.

From USA Today:

The Times notes the move comes as “a new breed” of Indian airlines “aims to entice travellers with promises of svelte cabin crew.” One such carrier is Kingfisher. On that note, flight attendant Joshi says: “Kingfisher was founded four years ago. Its cabin crew are all in their twenties. Let’s see how much they weigh in 20 years.”

Would a five foot tall, 134 pound 18 year old woman pushing a beverage cart really make anyone less likely to fly Air India?

Eesh. I bet Air India wouldn’t want these women on board their planes either (but for different reasons):