Suresh Prabhu orders enquiry into IndiGo deboarding passenger at Lucknow


Rai, a doctor with Bengaluru's Narayan Hrudaylaya, was flying out from Lucknow yesterday when the alleged incident happened.

Dr Rai boarded the aircraft at around 6am on Monday. It alleged that the passenger even tried to instigate other passengers to damage the aircraft.

"I have ordered an enquiry into the incident of off-loading passenger Dr Saurabh Rai by Indigo at Lucknow Airport", Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted.

IndiGo claimed that Rai was deplaned at Lucknow airport due to his unruly behaviour. The airline claimed that before cabin crew could address his concerns, he became aggressive and used threatening language.

The dispute turned ugly when Rai was asked to leave the flight and walk back to the terminal.

Keeping in mind safety protocols, as well as the passenger's unruly behaviour, the pilot-in-command made a decision to offload Rai, the airline said. IndiGo said he had used "threatening language" and words such as "hijack" and that they had acted according to safety protocols. He also attempted to instigate the other passengers to damage the aircraft. As soon as he boarded the flight, he complains about the mosquitoes but instead of catering to his needs, crew members manhandled him before offloading from the aircraft.

The passenger has said that he will file an FIR into the incident and seek legal recourse apart from writing to the DGCA, Civil Aviation Ministry and the Prime Minister.

It is interesting to note in the light of these incidents that a parliamentary committee report on flier satisfaction, submitted in January 2018, specifically advised IndiGo to adopt a consumer-friendly approach while dealing with passengers.

IndiGo was involved in a controversy in November past year after a video went viral of the airline's ground staff allegedly assaulting a passenger on the tarmac at the Indira Gandhi International airport.

At IndiGo, there is no compromise on matters of safety and security. "Further, we would like to mention here that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited disinfectant fumigation in aircraft while passengers are onboard", it noted.

Recalling the incident, Rai said that as the cabin was full of mosquitoes, he repeatedly asked the airline staff if something can be done to remove them but the requests were not entertained.

Many co-passengers, he claimed, also complained of the mosquito menace after which he told a flight attendant Sonali that she should spray something to ward them off.