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BJP MP ‘creates ruckus’ at Bhopal airport over being allotted AI economy class seat

Bhagirath Prasad, the BJP MP from Bhind, was furious about being allotted a seat in the aircraft’s economy section despite having booked a business class ticket.

bhopal Updated: Aug 30, 2017 14:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Bhagirath Prasad,BJP MP,Air India
BJP MP Bhagirath Prasad denied reports that the incident had resulted in the Air India flight’s take-off being delayed by 15 minutes. (REUTERS File)

Five months after Shiv Sena leader Ravinda Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer for being forced to travel economy, a fellow parliamentarian reportedly raised a ruckus for the same reason at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj airport on Tuesday morning.

Airline sources said Bhagirath Prasad, the BJP MP from Bhind, was furious about being allotted a seat in the flight’s economy section despite having booked a business class ticket. Though airline staffers fulfilled his request as fast as they could, the Delhi-bound flight was reportedly able to take wing only by 8.30 am – fifteen minutes after its scheduled departure time.

Prasad, however, denied causing a commotion at the airport. “All I did was raise the issue as a passenger,” he told HT over the phone. “Don’t I have the right to ask why an economy class boarding pass was given to me on a business class ticket?”

He also rejected reports that the flight was delayed. “There was no unpleasant situation. Resolving the issue took barely a minute,” Prasad said.

The MP said he wasn’t aware who had made the mistake, but he considered the matter closed after the Air India agent apologised to him.

Vishrut Acharya, area manager (MP&CG) of the airline carrier, also claimed that it was a minor incident that soon found an amicable resolution. “We all know the MP. We treated him with respect, and provided him with the business class seat he was entitled to,” he said, adding that no passenger had to be shifted from his rightful seat for the purpose.

On March 23, Shiv Sena MP Gaikwad repeatedly hit a 60-year-old Air India duty manager with a slipper after he was refused a business class ticket on a Pune-New Delhi flight. Several airlines imposed a “no-fly” ban on him in the months that followed.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 13:23 IST