Air India flights are delayed as many as 60 times a month due to blocked, unusable toilets, reported the Times of India.
The report came in the wake of a Delhi-Chicago flight with 340 passengers on board made news this week for not having a single functioning toilet.
The incident had led to travellers losing cool after all passengers including seven infants faced difficulty in 16-hour journey without a single toilet.
The Air India officials said on Wednesday that the issue is common across the globe with India leading in it.
If a passenger throws any object into the toilet, like a plastic bottle, soiled diapers, a bunch of tissue papers, it could damage its vacuum flush system. Then the object has to be located, it has to be removed and the flush system repaired. The next flight is delayed, the losses are multifoldAn airline source.
A senior AI cabin crew member told TOI that the older aircraft used the blue liquid chemical toilet flush system and that can not be used in newer aircrafts.
“When there was a blockage, we would pour hot water and then flush after some time and it would often clear the blockage. Now, newer aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 have a vacuum flush which is advanced technology” he said.
Officials also said that they are helpless once the toilets get clogged.
When a toilet cannot be used, a log entry is made by the cabin crew. On average, there would be 30-60 log entries a month by cabin crew about toilets that have been rendered useless by passengers who dumped bottles, rags or other such items into the commodeA senior AI cabin crew member
They claimed that Air India is victim of the issue on a regular basis and it is planning to put an end to the menace.
"In August last year, AI's Newark-Mumbai flight made an unscheduled stop in Istanbul as all the toilets were unserviceable.
But it was particularly bad in 2016 between June 5 and August 23, when the toilets left blocked by passengers delayed 14 flights to destinations such as London, Newark, Chicago and New York," said an Air India official.
An AI official said that while all air crafts face the issue, Air India has to deal with it every single day as Indians are obsessed with cleaning with water while using toilet papers is common in other parts of the world.
"Some passengers don't have any concern for other users. They leave the toilet messy with water everywhere and worse, the paper cups and bottles used to fill water are dumped into the commode," he added.