Chennai

IndiGo pilot allegedly threatens and harasses passengers who sought wheelchair assistance, taken off duty

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

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The pilot had allegedly threatened a resident of Bengaluru who was travelling with her 75-year-old mother from Chennai to Bengaluru

An IndiGo pilot who reportedly harassed and threatened to arrest two passengers for seeking wheelchair assistance has been taken off duty, pending a full enquiry, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Supriya Unni Nair, a resident of Bengaluru and former journalist, had posted on social media of the “harassment” meted out to her and her mother on an IndiGo flight on Monday. She and her 75-year-old mother Vijayalakshmi, had taken an IndiGo flight from Chennai to Bengaluru and when she sought wheelchair assistance for her mother, the captain Jayakrishna screamed and threatened to arrest them both. Though she had already asked for a wheelchair in advance, she tried calling on the assistance bell after the flight landed in Bengaluru, she said in her post. But when the crew didn’t respond, she walked up for help, and subsequently, the captain came out and began yelling at her, Ms. Nair said.

“He prevents the wheelchair people from taking my mom out of the aircraft threatening us that he will ensure we are detained and spend a night in jail. Disbelievingly I ask him whether he is serious. Shut up. Who do you think I am? I'll get my CEO to make sure you spend a night in jail, “we” will teach you some manners, he says,” she posted, further.

On seeing this complaint, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted: “I requested my office to contact @IndiGo6E as soon as I saw the tweet by Ms @SupriyaUnniNair about the pilot's behaviour with her & her 75 yr old mother in need of wheelchair assistance. The airline has informed @MoCA_GoI that the pilot has been off-rostered pending full enquiry.”

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Nair said, “I personally felt the need to put it out on a social media platform because this shouldn’t happen to anyone else. No one, especially, a senior citizen or a wheelchair passenger should have to endure what my mother did. She was nervous and shivering; she was scared for me as well.”

She said she was happy that the Minister quickly responded to the complaint.

Meanwhile, a statement from the airline said, it was aware of the complaint raised by the passenger, and that the matter was “under internal review”, and that necessary action would be taken. “IndiGo is very cognisant of the needs of its customers, and it is our constant endeavour to provide a courteous and hassle-free experience to our passengers. Our customer relations team has been in touch with the customer to ensure that her concern is understood well and to help avoid any such experiences in the future.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 8:01:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/indigo-pilot-threatens-and-harasses-passengers-who-sought-wheelchair-assistance-taken-off-duty/article30567062.ece

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