A GoAir passenger, identified as 38-year old Prakash Ved by the airline, was thrown off of a Mumbai-Jaipur-Delhi flight on Thursday for allegedly molesting an air-hostess.
A passenger witness to the incident on Flight G8-111 said the drama began after the air-hostess complained that Ved patted her bottom while she was escorting him to his seat. The airline’s security team was called in immediately. However, Ved refused to disembark and started abusing the crew.
Eventually, the security team had to drag him off the aircraft and hand him over to the Central Industrial Security Force.
But the drama didn’t end there.
Ved struggled free and began running towards Sahar police station to register a complaint. However, securitymen managed to run him down and wrestle him to the ground. He was booked under Section 110 of the Bombay Police Act (misbehaviour in a public place), but was later let off after he paid a fine of Rs 1,200.
The incident cost the flight’s 180 passengers an hour as the plane missed its departure slot while Ved was being booked. This is likely to have resulted in a loss of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for GoAir. The expense would have comprised overtime for cabin crew, excess parking fees and pilots’ flying hours wasted.
According to a recent Directorate General of Civil Aviation regulation, a pilot cannot fly for more than eight hours a day. Considering that pilots are rare, the waste of even one hour due to such freak incidents is costly.
A GoAir spokesperson said: "We have a zero-tolerance policy towards passengers who misbehave with employees. A passenger abusing or manhandling an employee is offloaded immediately and a police complaint filed. All such off-loaded passengers are not refunded their ticket money."