IndiGo pilot threatens woman passenger with jail

IndiGo pilot threatens woman passenger with jail over wheelchair request, 'off-rostered'

A woman passenger was allegedly threatened with jail by an IndiGo pilot when she sought a wheelchair for her 75-year-old mother, on landing at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) here on Monday night.

The airline has now 'off-rostered,' Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri later informed in a tweet. “The airline has informed the Ministry of Civil Aviation that the pilot has been off-rostered pending full enquiry,” said Puri.

In a series of tweets and a detailed Facebook post, the passenger, Supriya Unni Nair, a former journalist, narrated the ordeal, claiming that the pilot had also misbehaved with her and her mother, a diabetic. When the wheelchair was brought to the aircraft, the pilot is said to have prevented the duo from disembarking the flight.

Nair had tagged the Minister in her tweets. Puri responded: “I requested my office to contact IndiGo as soon as I saw the tweet by Ms Supriya Unni Nair about the pilot's behaviour with her and her 75-year-old mother in need of wheelchair assistance.”

The trouble began soon after the IndiGo flight 6E-806 from Chennai landed at the Bengaluru airport. “Our flight was late and when we landed at 9.15 pm, I tried calling the assistance bell. When the crew didn't respond, I walked up for help,” Nair recalled.

The crew told her that they had no access to a wheelchair. “It was clearly printed on the ticket. When I pointed this out to her, the captain came barging out and yells at me for pressing the assistance button and annoying him and his crew.”

Nair said she was taken aback by the pilot's behaviour. “I tell him not to yell at me and then the threats start. The wheelchair guys arrive and he points at mom and says you're not going anywhere.

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.”

The pilot had claimed that he would get his CEO to ensure that she spent a night in jail. “We will teach you some manners, he says, and adds: You have paid a piddly 2000 rupees, you don't own the aircraft he adds. I will make sure you are barred from the skies, he yells,” Nair recalled.

Meanwhile, the CISF security personnel and IndiGo's ground staff reached the aircraft. “They tried to get us off the flight. We reach the bus and the "captain" is meanwhile ranting and stops it from moving forward. We are the only ones on the bus and it's getting late for mom's meds.”

While the airport staff, CISF security and the airline's ground staff apologised, the trouble continued even when they reached the arrival lounge. The pilot, Nair recalled, “was standing there ranting that "we" are not slaves, threatening me with dire consequences if I post about this on social media.”

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