Air India forces Odisha MP to fly economy
BJD’s Arjun Charan Sethi, an MP from Bhadrak in Odisha, said he will complain to the aviation minister as the airline did not inform him about the change of aircraft.india Updated: Apr 19, 2017 01:22 IST
Days after it lifted a ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, Air India denied a business class ticket to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Arjun Charan Sethi.
Sethi, an MP from Bhadrak in Odisha, said he will complain to the aviation minister as the airline did not inform him about the change of aircraft.
Sethi unlike Gaikwad restrained himself and later boarded the same flight and travelled in the economy class without creating any ruckus. He, however, got annoyed at Air India staff at the check-in counter when he learnt about the non-availability of business class seat.
“When I reached the counter, I was told that I cannot travel business class as the aircraft has only economy class seats. I got angry but had to travel owing to family emergency. I will complain to the minister as the airline did not inform in advance,” said Sethi.
The incident took place on April 12 and the MP reached the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 5:45 pm. He was scheduled to fly with AI 473, Delhi-Bhubaneswar flight.
Air India confirmed the incident and said that several attempts were made to reach out to the MP. “Whenever we change the aircraft, we inform the passenger through call, message and email. In this case, the number given by the passenger was not reachable and messages also could not be delivered. There was no email id give at the time of booking . There was no unruly behaviour,” said Dhananjay Kumar, Air India spokesperson.
Air India sources said that there was argument over the seat but the MP later agreed to fly. Sethi had booked the ticket around five days before the date of travel. Air India official said that Delhi is a hub and aircraft are changed often depending on the availability.
On Monday, Air India had proposed a fine of up to ₹15 lakh for passengers involved in air rage and delaying flights beyond two hours.