United Airlines, which was at the receiving end recently for forcibly offloading a flyer from due to overbooking on a US flight, has run into troubled waters again. Flyers on the airline’s Newark-Mumbai non-stop flight on Thursday complained that some toilets on board were “clogged” and hence, not usable
A passenger on that flight, who requested anonymity , said, “Two lavatories in the economy class were shut, leaving only two toilets for the 100-odd passengers in that section. One of the four lavatories in the business class too was shut.There were long queues outside toilets in the economy class and many flyers tried to used the lavatories in the business section. When we asked the crew why the toilets were closed, they said flush systems were not wor king in those lavatories.”
A United Airlines spokesperson told TOI: “We apologise to customers of flight UA 48 from New YorkNewark to Mumbai on April 19 for the inconvenience they experienced with the on board lavatories during their flight. While other on board facilities were functioning properly , this falls short of the service our customers expect from us. Our maintenance team inspected the facilities upon arrival and worked to resolve the issue.”
Another flyer said that most passengers rushed to the toilets after alighting from the aircraft at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.”This led to queues at lavatories near the terminal. It was nauseating and frustrating,” said the passenger.
Flyers questioned how airlines can release aircraft for long flights without doing a complete check of their toilets. United Airlines and Air India are the only two who have direct flights between India and US. Recently , Air India too faced a similar issue on one of its US-bound non-stop flight, following which it decided not to release an aircraft for long routes even if a single lavatory is non-functional.