I am a fairly frequent domestic flyer. I fly once a month on average. In the past 5 years, yesterday was the first time that the take off got delayed by close to 2 hours. It wasn’t even raining. Bright sunshine.
I am unaware about the standard operating procedure done before an aircraft gets ready for a flight. But I’m assuming there will be some technical checks done few hours prior to the flight. What happened yesterday with Spicejet surprised me.
The Boarding time was 5.20 pm and scheduled take off time was 5.50 pm. Boarding gates didn’t open till 6 pm. All the 200 odd passengers then started to board at 6 pm. Flight didn’t move an inch till 7 pm. At 7, an announcement comes saying there is a technical snag and the aircraft needs to be changed. All of us had to go through the strenuous process of shifting to a different flight along with our baggage.
The flight eventually took off at 8 pm and reached the destination, 2 hours after scheduled arrival time.
Most ironic thing about the entire experience was when I opened the Monthly Magazine of Spicejet kept in the cabin. Spicejet is apparently the chart leader when it comes to OTP (On Time Performance) with 90.2%.
I agree technical faults can happen in unavoidable cases. But Spicejet doesn’t have the liberty to waste 400 man hours. Checks should be done prior to onboarding passengers. Not while or after passengers are onboarded.