[A report about an issue in Iranian domestic flight. Some clerics decide to say their prayers before boarding the airplane. But the pilot did not allow them to get on the plane, and took off without them. Later, the pilot was punished by the airline.]
REPORTER says: 25 passengers of today’s Tehran-Zahedan flight were left behind.
1st cleric asserts: Today we missed the flight. And they didn’t cooperate in the issue of saying prayer.
2nd cleric explains what happened: The flight was at 4:30 am. And the call to morning prayer at 4:35 am. When our friends wanted to board the plane, it became the time for saying prayer. We started saying our prayers at the airplane stairs. When our prayer was over, and we immediately wanted to board the plane, they removed the airplane stairs, because of the pilot’s stubbornness who wanted to prove himself right by not allowing us to say our prayers. And interestingly enough, after they removed the airplane staircase and the prayer was over, it took 10 minutes for the airplane to take off at 4:48 am—meaning that its take off took 10 to 15 minutes.
3rd cleric says: They were in a hurry to move fast. But it didn’t happen. Almost for 10 minutes, this airplane was just moving around and then took off.
TAfTAN AIRLINE REPRESENTATIVE explains what had happened and apologizes: In spite of the fact that the pilot and the flight attendants had prepared a place for saying the prayer on board, and given the fact that at the time when the flight would reach its destination, there had still been time left for saying prayer, dear passengers had decided to say their prayers in Zahedan. And unfortunately, due to pressures that were on the pilot to reach the destination (otherwise, many problems would have been created), he had decided to fly. And unfortunately, some of our passengers were left behind. I do apologize from each and every passenger—those whose flight was with delay, and those who missed the flight. I have ordered that their money be refunded, and they will get a free ticket from Taftan airline.