A passenger was trapped in the lavatory of a plane for the entire duration of the flight in India after the door malfunctioned during the flight.
The man, flying from Mumbai to Bengaluru on a SpiceJet flight on Wednesday, went to use the toilet soon after the plane took off. But he found himself stuck in what turned out to be a harrowing, one hour and 45 minute journey.
After discovering the man was trapped in the bathroom, the crew attempted to unlock the door from the outside but were unsuccessful.
The passenger was only freed from the cramped restroom after the flight landed at Bengaluru airport and technicians intervened.
The private air carrier SpiceJet expressed regret over the incident and said the passenger will get a full refund of his fare.
“On 16 January, a passenger unfortunately got stuck inside the lavatory for about an hour on a SpiceJet flight operating from Mumbai to Bengaluru, while the aircraft was airborne due to a malfunction in the door lock,” a statement from the airline said.
“Throughout the journey, our crew provided assistance and guidance to the passenger. Upon arrival, an engineer opened the lavatory door, and the passenger received immediate medical support,” it added.
The crew of the flight reportedly also communicated with the passenger stuck in the lavatory with the help of a note slipped under the door.
— Aman Gulati 🇮🇳 (@iam_amangulati) January 17, 2024
The passenger was urged to “not panic” after their attempts to unlock the door failed. The note said that the plane is preparing for “landing in few mins, so please close the commode lid and sit on it.
“And secure yourself. As soon as the main door is open engineer will come,” the note said. “Do not panic.”
The incident comes at a time when aviation in India is grappling with a spate of incidents amid flight delays and cancellations.
The situation has become even worse as dense fog triggered by a cold wave shrouded parts of northern India, disrupting flights.
On Monday, a video of a passenger hitting a pilot onboard an IndiGo flight went viral. A passenger assaulted the pilot who had come out to announce further delay of the Delhi-Goa flight, which was delayed by more than 10 hours.
An Air India flight was also delayed for around 17 hours and the incident sparked a debate after videos showed passengers eating their meals on the runway as they waited.