Russian carrier makes 6 passengers stand for 5-hour flight


A Russian airline forced six passengers to stand on a five-hour flight from Turkey to Russia, according to media reports.

Daily Mail reported that six adults had no seats on the overcrowded Boeing jet as it took off from Antalya airport in Turkey, used by thousands of Britons each week.

These passengers did not have oxygen masks or life vests on the overcrowded jet, said reports in Moscow.

According to Daily Mail, the passengers on the Tatarstan Airlines flight from Antalya to Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, were told an aircraft with 148 seats had been replaced at the last minute by another Boeing 737 with space for only 142.

Those who complained were told by the crew to put a child on their lap – but the children were far too big.

The incident on Septmber 24 came to light after angry passengers demanded £3,000 each in compensation.

The tour company which booked their flight offered them only £130.

“The adults had no choice but to fly standing for five hours,” said one passenger.

“When the plane flew through turbulence, they went from standing to sitting in the aisle, where naturally they had no safety belts.”

A Tatarstan Airlines official said last night: “We cannot deny this happened to our customers. But the company will not share any details until everything is clarified. Our own investigation of this accident is about to begin.”

Evgenia Fedorova, a manager of Anex-Tour, which booked many passengers on the flight, said, “People had a choice – to fly on that plane standing up or wait seven hours for another plane.

“All the tourists decided to fly back despite uncomfortable conditions.”

Aviation regulators are understood to be probing the incident.