An Air India Dreamliner flight departing from London's Heathrow to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, March 18 was delayed for 2 hours after the pilot learned that a ground staffer had reportedly left his phone inside the aircraft. The flight was taxiing when the pilot stopped the flight and asked the cabin crew to open the door and throw the phone down to the ground staffer.
The incident took place on Air India flight AI-176 after the maintenance engineer realized that he had forgotten his phone inside the aircraft that was about to depart from London, The Times of India reported.
"It belonged to a maintenance engineer who had deplaned after readying the flight for departure. The commander informed the ground staff to ask the engineer to reach the aircraft and collect the phone," a source was quoted as saying by TOI.
The pilot of Boeing 787-800 (VT-ANP) instructed the cabin crew to open the door. The pilot had also asked them to put the phone inside a pillow and then throw it down to the ground staffer, according to the daily.
However, once the flight door was opened, the emergency slide-raft inflated and fell into position. The passengers did not panic but it was the crew members who were left stunned at the turn of events.
"Many tasks need to be completed before cabin crew can strap themselves for take-off. Amid the confusion caused by the cellphone on the AI flight, the cabin crew-in-charge appears to have forgotten to change the door's mode to manual," the sourced added.
An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident to TOI and said that the flight was delayed due to the "evacuation slide being deployed."
International Business Times India has reached out to Air India and is awaiting a response.