In a shocking case of apathy, Anita Ghai- a disabled passenger - was denied a wheelchair while de-boarding from an Air India flight. However, the airlines has issued a statement rebuffing the allegations and said that the wheel-chair had been provided to the passenger.
“ Since the flight was parked at a distant bay it took some time to bring the wheel chair. Since passengers were getting down from the aircraft, our support staff actively helped the passenger to come out of the aircraft ensuring any inconvenience and the wheelchair was provided at aircraft doorstep,” an Air India statement said.
”We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger, However we strongly deny the statement appearing in media. We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger’s safety and comfort,” the statement added.
Ghai has said that the airlines was blatantly lying and asserted that she is contemplating legal action.
”I complained for a reason and not they are denying what happened. They are blatant liars. It was a case of complete negligence and I was traumatised. They should just acknowledge their mistake. If they don’t I will ensure they don’t do this again to disable people, just because we are vulnerable,” Ghai was quoted as saying by ANI.
Narrating her side of the incident, she said that she was made to wait for more than 30 minutes for a wheel chair which never came and that she had to crawl out of the aircraft waiting for the coach to arrive with the chair.
”For around 15 minutes I was made to wait after all the passengers had de-boarded. They (stewards) told me that the wheel chair will come, but it did not. The door of the plane is narrow so I knew the chair could not be brought inside, but they did not even have an aisle chair. I can’ t stand as I have polio, so I crawled down the steps waiting for the chair,” she said.
According to Ghai, she was finally provided with a wheel chair at the arrival hall and not at the bay.
Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Delhi University, took the Alliance Air (Air India’s regional arm) flight from Dehradun on Friday, with four of her colleagues.