Shiv Sena MP ban: Can airlines really stop him from flying? All you need to know
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad has been banned from flying by domestic airlines but do the airlines have the authority of ban passengers and can a no-fly list be effective?delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2017 12:01 IST
The move by major domestic airlines not to allow Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad on board has thrown up questions about the validity and effectiveness of such a ban. The errant MP’s party has so far stood by him and also indicated that it plans to bring a privilege motion against the state airliner Air India for grounding the MP, according to ANI.
Ravindra Gaikwad had hit headlines last week for allegedly thrashing an Air India official on March 23 after which the airlines had moved to introduce a ‘no-fly’ list of troublesome passengers.
In a statement, Air India and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), an umbrella body of four domestic airlines, condemned the assault and sought strict action. The statement said: “In the interest of the safety and security of our colleagues and other customers, we also propose the promulgation of a “no-fly” list which shall include the names of all unruly passengers. Such customers are not welcome on our carriers and we seek the support of the government and security agencies to enforce such a ‘no-fly’ list.”
Here is all you need to know about the ‘ban’ imposed by different carriers:
1. No precedent: The ban on Gaikwad is the first such in India. No one has so far been banned from flying for unruly behaviour though there have been incidents in the past of rowdy passengers being offloaded. Last month, AirAsia India filed a police complaint in Bengaluru against two drunk fliers for creating “nuisance” on one of its flights. In January, IndiGo was forced to tie down a passenger to his seat for being violent aboard one of its flights from Dubai for New Delhi.
2. Ban legitimate: Airlines can ban a passenger for security reasons. As per regulator DGCA’s guidelines, any airline can ban a passenger if they feel he/she is a threat to safety. Air India said that their employees are agitated and might harm the MP in this case. The airlines have requested the government to form a rule to prepare a ‘no-fly’ list so that a passenger can’t challenge it.
3. Airlines united: In a joint statement the Air India and FIA (which includes IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Go Air) said: We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living... We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety.
4. Not without problems: Making a ‘no-fly’ list could also open a can of worms giving the airlines blanket power. It could also spark fears of abuse of such a list and lack of transparency due to subjectivity in making such list. In the past, such lists drawn up in the United States have invited criticism and claims of discrimination.