The plane had taken off at 2 am in the morning from Delhi.
The journey from Delhi to Chicago on Saturday’s Air India’s nonstop flight became dreadful for its 340 passengers as all the toilets in the Boeing 777 were unusable, Times of India reported.
The plane had taken off at 2 am in the morning from Delhi with 324 adults and seven infants as passengers apart from 16 crew members. A Breakfast, full meal, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages were served during the course of the 16-hour flight.
According to the report, four toilets closed before takeoff itself and there were long queues at the remaining eight operational toilets. But, they were also become unusable and the flight was still more than two hours away from the destination.
“The Boeing 777-300 (VT-ALJ) flew into Delhi from Hyderabad on Friday night. Four of its 12 toilets were clogged and we tried to clear them by nitrogen flushing but could not do so. Since the aircraft was booked to take a full of passengers to Chicago from Delhi and no alternate aircraft could be arranged at such a short notice, it was felt that the eight serviceable toilets will be enough for the journey and plane was released under minimum equipment list,” Times of India quoted a senior Air India official.
The other toilets started packing up and got full by the time the plane crossed the Atlantic and the cockpit and AI operations communications even discussed a diversion to Toronto.
It was decided that the plane will continue to Chicago where it landed with passengers and crew holding on to their full bladders and stomach.
“In Delhi we tried to clear the four toilets using nitrogen flushing. But the toilet pipes were choked with passengers flushing all kinds of stuff like plastic bottles and sanitary napkins into toilets. Opening up the system would have taken time and so the plane was released under MEL. Now once it lands in Chicago, the plane will be grounded and toilets serviced in entirety. It will be released for the flight back to Delhi only after the entire system is clear,” another official told Times of India.
“It was a learning for us. Airlines in some parts of the world, including India, face the issue of passengers flushing all kinds of stuff in toilets that leads to chocking,” the official said adding that Air India decided not to release an aircraft for a full passenger-load long flight ever again in future.