Airline apologises for ‘manhandling’ passenger
A video clip leaked online earlier this week has landed the Indian carrier in trouble – It appears to show at least two members of IndiGo staff pinning a passenger to the floor during a heated argument as other passengers attempt to board the aircraft. The male passenger, who was later identified as Rajiv Katiyal can be heard shouting as he is overpowered by IndiGo crew members.
The incident took place on the tarmac at Delhi Airport last month, in front of hundreds of fellow travellers, many of whom filmed the fight on their camera phones. The footage made its way onto social media almost instantly, sparking a public outcry as local news channels began broadcasting the images.
Media outlets reported that that Rajiv was subsequently escorted of the premises and taken to a local police station. The airline even threatened to press charges against him.
Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo, is understood to have already apologised for the incident:
"Whatever may have been the provocation, our staff were completely out of line and didn't follow laid down procedures."
Ghosh emphasised that the behaviour was "unacceptable" and reassured the public that the airline had taken “stern action" against the staff in question. He didn’t go on to reveal the identities of the crew members involved in the incident but did reveal that “the main culprit” had been relieved of their duties.
A public apology was also made to Mr. Katiyal via the company’s Twitter account:
“We condemn the actions of our staff & have taken stern action. We truly apologize for this. Such behaviour is unacceptable”.
However, it doesn’t appear to be the end of the matter, with the Indian government promising to launch a full investigation. The country’s Junior Minister for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha told journalists that the behaviour exhibited by the IndiGo employees was “absolutely unacceptable”.
The low-cost flight operator has been asked to submit a report on the incident to the aviation ministry within the next couple of days. Government officials say that they will decide what course of action to take after the report has been analysed.
New legislation has recently been introduced by Indian lawmakers to ban unruly passengers from flying for up to two years. The action was taken in the aftermath of an incident that involved a politician attacking an Air India employee with a shoe.
The IndiGo incident is one of many cases of passenger mistreatment by major airlines to have taken place in recent months.
United Airlines came under intense criticism after the carrier’s crew were filmed dragging a passenger off of an overbooked flight after he refused to give up his seat.
The video footage went viral and featured heavily in global news bulletins. United Airlines’ CEO subsequently offered an apology to the passenger, in which he conveyed the “shame and embarrassment” felt by him and his United colleagues.
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