A city-based passenger got into a quarrel with GoAir cabin crew on board a Mumbai-Goa flight on Saturday because the airline allegedly refused to serve him free water.
Information Technology (IT) professional, Chinmay Gavankar, was travelling with his wife and one-year-old son when the incident took place. The Vasai resident plans to report the matter to the aviation safety regulator after returning from his vacation.
According to the 30-year-old, the airline crew offered him bottled water, which was chargeable. When he asked for free water citing a rule by the aviation safety regulator, the crew allegedly said that they were unaware of it.
"How can the airline be choosy about following mandatory rules?" asked Gavankar. Last October, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had made it mandatory for all domestic carriers to serve free water on board after several passengers complained about being denied the service. Before the rule came into effect, low-cost carriers did not serve free water. Since humidity inside an aircraft cabin decreases when its airborne, constant water intake is essential for passengers.
When the argument started getting ugly, drawing the attention of other passengers, the airline staff offered him a free bottle of water, claimed Gavankar. This angered him further.
"I didn't want their mercy. I just insisted that the airline should follow the rules," he added.
The crew finally offered him a glass of water by the time the flight was about to reach Goa. "I asked the flight attendants for a customer feedback form to report the case but they refused to give it. I will file a complaint with the DGCA," he said.
The GoAir spokesperson denied the allegation.
He said, "The passenger was asking for bottled water for free. When explained that only normal filtered water was available for free, the passenger accepted it without any complaint."