Air India pilot made woman wait for 2 hours for new seat, claims co-passenger | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Air India pilot made woman wait for 2 hours for new seat, claims co-passenger

By, New Delhi
Jan 07, 2023 06:14 PM IST

Sugata Bhattacharjee in a handwritten complaint to the airline claimed that the woman passenger was made to go back to her soiled seat despite four seats in the first class being vacant.

Even as Shankar Mishra, an accused in the Air India urination incident case, was arrested from Bengaluru and sent to 14-day judicial custody in Delhi on Saturday, a co-passenger of the New York-New Delhi flight has claimed that after the Mumbai man urinated on the woman co-passenger, the captain made the traumatised victim wait for close to two hours before allocating her a fresh seat.

Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on a woman passenger on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi, being taken away by the police from the DCP office at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Saturday, (PTI)
Shankar Mishra, accused of urinating on a woman passenger on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi, being taken away by the police from the DCP office at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Saturday, (PTI)

Sugata Bhattacharjee, a US-based doctor of audiology who was seated next to the accused in business class on the flight to Delhi, in a handwritten complaint to the airline claimed that the woman passenger was made to go back to her soiled seat despite four seats in the first class being vacant, reported news agency PTI which claimed to have reviewed the complaint copy.

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Bhattacharjee's revelation comes after the 70-year-old victim made a similar allegation against the Air India crew. In her complaint to the airline, she wrote: “I asked the staff for a change of seat but was told that no other seats were available. However, another business class passenger who had witnessed my plight and was advocating for me pointed out that there were seats available in first class.”

After standing for 20 minutes, the victim was offered a small seat used by airline staff where she sat for about two hours. She was then asked to return to her own seat. When she refused, the victim was offered the steward's seat for the rest of the journey, the Delhi Police FIR stated.

Bhattacharjee said he was seated on 8A (window) in the first row of business class, next to the accused Shankar Mishra who was in seat 8C.

Shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off onboard AI 102 of November 26 (JFK New York to IGIA, New Delhi), the inebriated male passenger seated in a business class seat walked to the elderly woman's seat (9A), unzipped his pants and urinated on her.

The lavatory was four rows behind his seat.

According to Bhattacharjee, he was woken up midflight when Mishra fell on him. "I initially thought he lost his balance due to a rough flight. However, as I was going to the restroom, I saw my two fellow passengers of 9A and 9C in distress," he said, adding the woman of 9A came to the gallery area, she was all wet.

"We were shocked to realise that my co-passenger (8C) was so intoxicated that he went to the next row and urinated on her," he wrote.

Bhattacherjee, however, was all praise for the two cabin crew members who helped the woman clean up. All this while, two air hostesses helped clean her up, change her clothes and sanitized her belongings and seat.

"The incidence has a multifaceted part to it. A senior citizen was subjected to trauma due to indecency of a passenger. She being a female had no idea how to cope with the obscenity," he Bhattacharjee, adding, "I personally am bothered by the fact that the captain waited close to two hours before allotting her a fresh seat."

The non-pilot crew, he said, went above and beyond their call of duty "but when you have four first class seats vacant, you don't make a distressed passenger go back to her (soiled) seat with human remains and wait for a crew seat to be vacant to move her."

This, according to him, was "a poor judgement call by the captain."

Bhattacherjee reportedly asked the crew for a complaint book to note down his protest against the handling of the situation but was provided a piece of paper. He wrote his complaint on that paper.

(With inputs from agencies)

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