Sit-ins, refusing to leave the aircraft, are becoming a thing in Iran to protest poor operational performance of Iranian airlines.
Iranian news media have cited several recent incidents in which passengers enduring prolonged delays have refused to leave aircraft once their planes belatedly arrived at their destinations, sometimes as much as 22 hours late.
In some cases, the on-board sit-ins have lasted for several hours, according to media reports here.
When you’re frustrated that your airline isn’t getting you to your destination on time, what you want to do when you finally get there is get of the plane not prolong your flight by hours.
Passengers blame ‘top officials’ for chronic delays, though they are circumspect when doing so.
“People got very angry and exchanged insults with local officers and even started criticizing top officials for mismanagement,” said Farzane, 53, a passenger who asked that her family name not be used for privacy reasons. “Finally, with great hesitation we boarded and prayed for God to care for us. When we landed, we all breathed a deep breath of relief.”
For their part, Iran blames… the U.S. (Great Satan) for economic sanctions which make it difficult for them to buy new planes and parts for existing ones. Of course, government leaders are also circumspect when blaming the US as the official line is that the US has no power to influence Iran.
In last week’s Friday prayers in Tehran, Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, a leading pro-government ideologue, praised the impromptu protests and condemned the epidemic of flight tardiness.
“We are disrespecting the rights of passengers,” declared Azghadi, a member of Iran’s Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution, a powerful oversight body. “We are wasting their time and disregarding their dignity.”
Now we know that passengers shouldn’t protest delays by delaying themselves further. But what about an airline, what shouldn’t they do when their computer systems go down?