When You’re Frustrated By Your Airline’s Flight Delays, Don’t Do This.

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?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So are women forced to sit in the back of the plane? For these flights, are pray rugs provided or bring your own? When the pilot change directions, who tell the passengers which way is Mecca?

  2. @Kevin S

    I think you are confusing Iran with Saudi Arabia. Ironically Iran (all bark and no bite) gets sanctions while Saudi Arabia is among our “closest allies.” Go figure.

  3. An amazing thing is how cheap the airfare (well, really everything) is inside Iran. Like $10 cheap!

  4. glad to hear they are suffering. maybe if they can get spare parts if stop voting for despots and overthrow the mullahs

  5. Part of the problem is that some Iranian carriers don’t report data to the international databases that inform airport departure boards and websites like Flightstats – making it just about impossible to generate on time performance data. They do a terrible job of informing customers of delays, too. My in-laws were stranded at Istanbul-SAW overnight by a 12 hour delay recently, and the only source of information on the delay was word of mouth from the airport information desk workers. The airport workers mentioned that this Iranian carrier’s pattern of chronic delays (name was something like Qeshm) were becoming a major problem for them, though I suppose the 24 hour Simit Saray at the airport didn’t mind a hundred or so extra customers…

  6. This is awesome. Can you imagine your plane it delayed but say 4 hours on some random domestic flight from say NYC to DEN or someplace. After arriving at the destination gate everyone just sits there for another like 30 minutes and then the passengers proceed to hand out granola bars to the FA’s and ground crew while they wait 🙂

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