Dubai: An Indian woman, described as “unruly”, caused a Dubai-Mumbai flight to return from the runway to the terminal and caused a one-and-a-half-hour delay on Sunday, according to airline officials.
The incident took place on board IX248, an Air India Express flight that was ready for take-off at 6pm.
The woman, who came to Dubai on a tourist visa, “created a ruckus” on board and was handed over to the police, Air India Express officials told Gulf News on Wednesday.
Apparently in her early 40s, the passenger initially complained of suffocation, saying the flight’s air conditioner was not functioning effectively.
“She said it is very hot and the AC is low. Our crew tried to calm her down saying it will be fine once the aircraft takes off. But she created a ruckus and said she did not want to travel,” said P.G. Prageesh, chief of corporate communications, AIE in India.
“The woman was unruly and adamant. She wanted to be deplaned and insisted that the airline gives her a letter on board citing that she decided to get deplaned due to faulty air conditioning,” he said.
He said when the crew could not control the woman, the flight was pushed back to Terminal 2 at 6.10pm.
A female official, who was called in to counsel the woman, said she was hysterical and seemed incoherent.
“After much persuasion, she relented to disembark. When we called Dubai Police as per the procedure related to deplaning a passenger, she misunderstood it and thought we were threatening her,” the official said.
Prageesh said the airline assisted her with immigration officials as she was on a tourist visa and then handed her over to the police without registering a case against her.
The female official said the woman did not give clear answers even to Dubai Police and initially refused to sign a statement, which was in Arabic.
After interrogation, however, the police allowed her to leave the airport with her baggage. Gulf News could not immediately get a comment from Dubai Police.
Meanwhile, Prageesh said the airline also used an auxiliary power unit to charge the flight’s AC as the aircraft was delayed on the ground.
The flight finally took off at 7.37pm.