Air India denied on Sunday it failed to provide a wheelchair to a differently-abled woman flyer who alleged she had to “crawl” to a passenger coach after deboarding the state-run carrier’s aircraft.
“We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger. However, we strongly deny the statement appearing in media,” Air India said in a statement.
“The flight that operated on ATR aircraft landed in Delhi. Since it’s parked at distant bay it took some time to bring a wheel chair. Since passengers were getting down from aircraft, our support staff actively helped passenger to come out of aircraft… wheelchair was provided at aircraft doorstep,” the airline added.
The incident took place on Friday when Anita Ghai, a Delhi University associate professor, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) by Alliance Air (Air India’s regional arm) from Dehradun and requested for a wheelchair.
“I boarded this flight with four of my colleagues. Despite my repeated request, the (air) hostess did not cognize my requirement for a wheel chair after reaching. The flight reached at 7.30pm. I waited patiently with one of my friends,” she said.
“At 8.15pm, we realise that there was no chance of (getting) a wheel chair. The (passenger) coach came at 8.30pm after repeated requests from the flight commander. Since security reasons are critical they made me crawl to go to the coach,” she alleged.
“We strongly deny the statement...We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger’s safety and comfort,” Air India said.