An Air India flight to London returned to Delhi on Monday morning after an unruly passenger allegedly harmed two cabin crew members, the airline has said. The flier has been deboarded and a police case registered.
The shocking incident comes months after a drunk man urinated on a woman co-passenger onboard an Air India plane flying from New York to Delhi. The episode, which came to be known as Pee-Gate, had sparked a massive debate on passengers’ conduct, prompting airlines to issue tough guidelines to tackle unruly fliers.
The Air India said in a statement today that an Air India flight to London’s Heathrow airport returned shortly after take-off due to “serious unruly behaviour of a passenger”.
“Not heeding to verbal and written warnings, the passenger continued with unruly behaviour including causing physical harm to two of the cabin crew members. The pilot in command decided to return to Delhi and the passenger was handed over to the security personnel upon landing. An FIR has also been lodged with the police,” the airline said.
Stressing that the “safety, security and dignity” of everyone on board is important to Air India, the statement added, “We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers and have rescheduled the flight to depart for London this afternoon.”
Earlier this year, in an interview to a leading news channel, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had stated that airline crew often suffer physical and verbal abuse on duty. “Not a day goes by without us receiving reports about passenger behaviour. There is a degradation of passenger behaviour onboard aircraft and a standard of decorum is required,” he had said.
He also suggested a change in India’s airline laws in order to allow airlines the discretion to deny someone passage, especially when they have misbehaved with fellow passengers or crew.
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