Passenger says he complained about mosquitoes on IndiGo flight, was offloaded
A passenger has accused the staff of IndiGo of manhandling and forcibly offloading him from an aircraft at Lucknow airport after he complained about mosquitoes in the plane, a charge denied by the country’s biggest airline.
Saurabh Rai, a doctor with Narayan Hrudaylaya in Bengaluru, said he boarded the Lucknow-Bengaluru flight (6E-541) at 6.35am on Monday and found mosquitoes in the aircraft and reported the matter to the staff.
Rai said the staff misbehaved with him and forced him off the plane after manhandling him.
“The staff termed me as a terrorist. They threatened me with dire consequences and pressurised me to write an apology letter, which I refused as I had done no wrong. They mistreated me. I had to arrange my next ticket for Bengaluru after a lot of hardship,” alleged Rai.
India’s biggest airline by market share, however, said Rai was offloaded because of his “unruly behaviour”.
It said that Rai expressed concerns regarding mosquitoes on board prior to the take-off, but before the cabin crew could address his concerns, he aggressively expressed his annoyance and started using threatening language.
Rai also attempted to instigate other passengers on board to damage the aircraft and used words such as ‘hijack’, the airline said.
“Such actions are absolutely unacceptable, and there is zero tolerance for such threatening language on board an aircraft. Hence, keeping in mind applicable safety protocols, the crew apprised the pilot-in-command, who decided to offload Rai from the flight,” IndiGo said in a release.
“Customer satisfaction is core to our business. However, the safety and security of our passengers as well as colleagues are of primary concern. Therefore, any untoward conduct of this nature is of serious concern to us, and as responsible corporate citizens we will take all necessary action to address this violation,” it said.
“Further, we would like to mention here that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited disinfectant fumigation in aircraft while passengers are on board. This order is currently being challenged by IndiGo before the NGT and the same is pending for adjudication,” it added.
It was involved in a similar incident last year.
The incident took place on October 15 and surfaced only in November after a video showed passenger Rajiv Katyal being manhandled by the airline’s security staff after an argument on the tarmac at New Delhi airport.
The video went viral, prompting the government to launch an investigation into the incident. IndiGo’s president and director Aditya Ghosh apologised for the incident and said an action was taken against the airline staff for manhandling the passenger.
IndiGo is owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd and flies about one in every two passengers in India.