There were days when Hajj Pilgrims were said to be the ‘Guests of Allah’ and the people in Saudi Arabia used to shower tremendous respect to them. Finding ways and means to ease them and leaving no stones unturned in providing any relief which was possible.
However, as the tide of the time has turned, it appears that the attitude of the Saudis has also changed, radically.
Last night, it was reported that a Hajj flight carrying passengers back from Medina to Karachi (Saudi Airline Flight SV-706) not only was delayed about three long hours, but also the Air Conditioning of the plane was not working.
The worst part of the story is that when the passengers noticed it before take off, the staff of the plane told them that once the plane takes off from ground, the Air Conditioning will start working. By lying blatantly, they took away the chance from the passengers to get off the plane and seek for a safer alternative to travel.
Traveling such long distances without proper air conditioning in an encapsulated and thickly populated cabin of an aircraft is not only uncomfortable, but it can create a life threatening situation for the travelers who have any medical conditions like asthma, heart problems & anxiety etc. Yet it appears beyond the comprehension or consideration of Saudi Airline to care for this fact. It looks as if it is all about money and nothing else.
The social media roared on the incident as some of the passengers from the flight shared videos of the horrible conditions of the passengers while the plane was airborne.
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) September 11, 2017
@Saudi_Airlines ur pathetic attitude towards the passengers flying on sv706 frm medina to karachi shid actually shut ur airlines down.
— Zeeshan (@Zeeshan8one) September 10, 2017
— Sarah Iqbal (@Saaziba) September 10, 2017
Adding insult to the injuries, when the passengers started to protest and asked the pilot to either take the flight back to Medina or land to the nearest airport as the some of the passengers started to pant for breath due to such high humidity and temperature, the pilot threatened them of action if they did not remain seated.
— fluglehrer (@fluglehrer) September 11, 2017
Now here is the whole account of the story as narrated and recorded by one of the passengers of the flight.
According to international aviation laws, a flight has to make emergency landing if any passenger’s medical condition worsens. However, we still cannot hear anything from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for this horrendous and traumatic experience of the passengers of the flight SV-706.