Qatar Airways Passengers Strip Amid 100-Degree Heat During Tarmac Delay

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 14, 2024 17:32 PMNews
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Qatar Airways plane on the runway
Technical issues lead to extreme heat delay. Source: unsplash

On June 10, 2024, passengers on a Qatar Airways flight from Athens to Doha experienced extreme discomfort when the air conditioning system failed while the plane was on the tarmac in Athens. The Boeing 777 was grounded for three hours in temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the sweltering cabin, passengers resorted to stripping off their clothes to cope with the heat. They fanned themselves and each other, with many drenched in sweat. Some passengers appeared to lose consciousness due to dehydration, highlighting the severity of the situation.

The incident occurred during an emergency weather alert in Greece, where excessive heat had already closed the Acropolis, schools, and halted garbage collection. Following the extended mechanical delay, passengers were eventually allowed to disembark the aircraft. Qatar Airways issued an apology, citing a technical issue as the cause of the delay.

"Qatar Airways sincerely apologizes for the delay to passengers traveling on flight QR204 from Athens (ATH) to Doha (DOH) on Monday 10 June 2024, which was due to a technical issue. We regard the safety and comfort of our passengers and crew as our highest priority at all times," the airline stated.

During the delay, passengers reportedly received minimal refreshments—a cup of water and a small soft drink. The flight finally resumed, landing in Doha 16 hours later than scheduled. Qatar Airways announced they would honor EU261 compensation regulations for the affected travelers.

This incident underscores the importance of robust technical checks and emergency protocols, particularly in extreme weather conditions. Passengers and airline crew were reminded of the critical need for preparedness and effective response strategies to ensure safety and comfort during unforeseen disruptions.

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