Two elderly women travelling to New York from Mumbai airport’s T2 were asked for hefty tips by the wheelchair attendants who were taking them to the boarding gate.
When the women refused, the airline staff allegedly asked them to get off the wheelchair and take the aerobridge. The incident that took place on May 27 came to light on Monday, after Abhijeet Kini, a relative of the women and a Mumbai resident, reported the issue to the airport operator and Jet Airways, the airline the passengers were travelling on.
“We learnt about the incident only after the women spoke to us on reaching New York. I want the matter to be probed so that other passengers do not face the same harassment,” said Kini.
In his complaint, Kini said the wheelchair attendants took the women to a corner before the boarding gate and asked for the tips. The women offered them some change, but the attendants asked for a “few hundreds”.
“Only after my aunt said the CCTV cameras would catch them did they back off. But the attendants took the wheelchairs citing a shortage and asked them to walk up the aerobridge,” Kini said.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said the airline had received the complaint. “Based on the feedback from the guest, we have initiated an investigation. We will scan the CCTV footage and speak to the attendants. We are well-equipped and our staff is trained to assist guests who require wheelchair support,” the spokesperson said.
The Mumbai International Airport Limited staff also started an internal probe. “The airport staff asked me to provide the exact location of the incident,” Kini said.