Air India: Not too crowded

If an Air India flight is fully booked, don't worry. They might still have space for you, if not in economy Air India or first class, then definitely in the cockpit. 

Air India is once again in trouble. The airline, in a shocking violation of air safety norms, allowed three extra passengers on board a full-loaded flight.

While one woman was accommodated in the cockpit's jump seat behind the pilots, two others were made to sit on foldable seats meant for cabin crew. [CNN-IBN]

I decided to interview an Air India official about this.

Me: "Three extra passengers? How could you do this?"

AI official: "It was easy. We put one passenger in the cockpit and the other two in crew seats."

Me: "But weren't you breaking the rules?"

AI official: "It's really not that bad. At least we didn't make any passenger sit on the pilot's lap. Only the flight attendant did that."

Me: "But wasn't the plane too crowded?"

AI official: "Our planes are not as crowded as trains and buses. If you look outside our planes, you will never see a passenger hanging onto the wing. We are the only airline with a written policy to keep all our passengers inside."

Me: "That's commendable. But people say you are just trying to make money by stuffing passengers onto a plane."

Air India: "It is not a question of making money. It is a question of satisfying our passengers. Perhaps you have heard of our new slogan: 'Air India: We'll find space for you.'"

Me: "That's pretty good, but it reminds me of another slogan: ' We'll find spouse for you.'"

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. What AI did is beyond any mortal ability to forgive and forget. As if unhygienic pantry and apathetic crew members weren’t enough to ruin an already decaying business, the airline actually believes stuffing more people can pull them out of the rut they are stuck in? This must be the greatest parody of all business times!

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