There were several complaints by passengers to Aeroméxico last night after their flight was delayed: the plane would have to wait for a senior government official.
Mexicali-bound Flight 198 was taxiing toward the runway when it suddenly turned around and returned to the ramp, according to reports by Twitter users who were aboard the aircraft.
They said the captain told passengers that the flight’s departure would be delayed for 38 minutes to await the arrival of a federal government official.
When she arrived, the passenger was identified by at least one passenger as Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Josefa González-Blanco Ortiz-Mena, who was accompanied by her son.
Passenger Jorge Rioja expressed his ire on Twitter, where he published a picture of the cabinet secretary boarding the plane.
“I’m headed to Mexicali. We’re just about to take off when the plane stops and the captain announces that we are heading back to pick up another passenger on ‘presidential orders.’ Is this for real?”
Another was more forceful. “This is arrogance, this is corruption, it’s an insult to . . . people who paid and arrived on time for their journey.”
“What social bias in the 4T!” wrote @GabrielRicoVal1. “What fifismo!” The 4T refers to the fourth transformation, President López Obrador’s term for the profound change he wishes to introduce. Fifismo means elitism and comes from another favorite expression of the president — fifí, used to describe people or organizations who are elitist or snobbish.
Another passenger, Alberto Díaz, expressed his disbelief at the situation.
“I am on Aeroméxico Flight AM198. The plane starts to move on to the runway for takeoff when suddenly the plane returns to the ramp. The captain announces, apologizing, that he has received orders to return because it is ‘imperative’ that we wait for a passenger belonging to the federal government.”
The airline responded to Díaz, apologizing for the delay and promising to resume the flight as quickly as possible.
In response, Alberto addressed a complaint directly to Secretary González-Blanco.
“This is also corruption, Josefa. As citizens, we should not have to wait just because you showed up late for the flight. If you miss it ‘take the next one like everyone else.’”
Off the record, members of her staff confirmed that González-Blanco did indeed board the Friday flight, which eventually departed at 10:08pm.
Source: El Universal (sp)