Airline’s overuse of cellotape

Let’s cut to the chase. Cellotape, duct tape and gaffer tape can often be the answer for a quick fix for all manner of things – except airplanes.

Now, there are many cases of airlines using tape to fix planes, but it’s usually a heavy-duty aluminium bonding tape called ‘speed tape’ that can cost thousands of dollars per four-inch roll, not cellotape, which can cost as little as 50 cents a roll.

Wrapping presents with cellotape is one thing but using it to mend a plane window wouldn’t exactly instil confidence in the poor passenger who booked said window seat on a long-haul flight.

And yet that is the situation this fellow found himself in just last week.


Mr Sankaran sat down to find this on his Spicejet flight from Mumbai to Delhi – a cracked window repaired with cellotape.

When the Indian low-cost carrier saw his post, it replied by saying “safety is our utmost concern and at no point in time does the airline compromise on the same”.

“We shall surely convey this to the concerned head for necessary action. The inconvenience caused is regretted,” posted Spicejet.

It later explained how “The purpose of the inner pane is to protect the window from scratches”, “doesn’t carry structural pressurisation loads” and “that at no point in time was safety compromised”.

Spicejet also posted that the “inner flexi pane and was fixed the same day”.

But it seems that this was not an uncommon finding for Spicejet passengers, with a flurry of Facebook and Twitter posts confirming the carrier’s unhealthy affection for using tape and all manner of ‘Jerry-rigged’ techniques to fix it’s faulty plane parts.

Not just windows …


… but armrests too.


It even makes good (debatable) use of seatbelts to strap in dodgy trays.


To its credit, the airline uses gaffer tape for heavier duty applications.


What would you do if you saw this type of ‘fix’ on your flight?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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