Active Stocks
Thu Sep 21 2023 13:19:22
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 127.9 -0.31%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 238.1 -1.45%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,558.2 -0.36%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 201.4 -1.61%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 447.45 -1.23%
Business News/ Companies / News/  IndiGo passenger calls cabin crew ‘servant’, DGCA launches probe

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has launched an investigation in an incident on IndiGo 6E 12 Istanbul-Delhi after a viral video from the 16 Dec flight showed a passenger calling a cabin crew member his “servant" amidst a high-pitched argument. 

“We are looking into this," a senior official from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told Mint. 

An investigation into the incident has also been launched by IndiGo but the airline did not state any prima-facie indications from the incident. 

“The issue was related to meals chosen by certain passengers traveling via a codeshare connection. IndiGo is cognizant of the needs of its customers and it is our constant endeavor to provide a courteous and hassle-free experience to our customers. We are looking into the incident and would like to assure that customers‘ comfort has always been our top priority. We are committed to providing the best experience at all times," IndiGo’s spokesperson said on the incident. 

In the Indian aviation sector, there have been multiple incidents of misbehaviour with the crew and with the passengers as well. The Indian aviation law under the updated Aircraft Rules, 1937 have a provision for marking a passenger as unruly if the person fails to respect the rules of conduct at an airport or on board an aircraft or to follow the instructions of the airport staff or crew members and thereby disturbs the good order and discipline at an airport or on board the aircraft. 

The unruly manner also includes use of any threatening or abusive language towards a member of the crew or other passengers, behaving in a physically threatening, abusive and disorderly manner towards a member of the crew or other passengers, smoking in an aircraft, among others. 

Similarly, passengers can also complain about an unruly cabin or flight crew member to the aviation regulator DGCA or on Air Sewa. Sometimes, the regulator also takes Suo moto cognizance of complaints submitted by passengers on social media platforms. 

“It is not an easy fix. Indians are known for extreme courtesy to elders, guests, and loved ones in one hand, and extreme rudeness and boorishness towards strangers and those they consider lower in the totem pole. Unless our education system and society changes to address this mindset, we will see this behavior repeated in the skies too," a behavioral analyst said. 

In the video from Dec 16, a heated argument is visible between the crew member and the passenger whereby both are complaining of being yelled at. A person aware of the matter said that the incident was triggered as the passenger who had pre-booked a sandwich did not want to eat the cold sandwich on a 6.5-hour flight and demanded that his meal be changed. 

“He was being very impatient about it and was not understanding that the food items for a low-cost flight are limited as per the pre-booked meals," the person added. 

Jaipur-based pastry chef and chocolate maker Tejasvi Chandela was on the same flight and recalled that the argument was on food availability and was initiated after the passenger started shouting at the senior crew member following another argument with a junior crew member. 

Most of the passengers were constantly shouting and asking about their food, probably unaware that they would not get free food on a low-cost carrier and only pre-booked meals would be served, recalled Chandela, adding that several passengers who were creating the ruckus about food were also not opting to buy food on board. 

“One second after a passenger under the influence of alcohol was shifted to another seat, this passenger who was a couple of seats ahead of me, he started saying something to the air hostess very rudely, she looked so upset, I saw her ending the conversation, crying and going at the back," Chandela said. 

“She (the junior crew member) was serving and he was like jaldi karo! I could just see her face, no matter what she was trying to say, he was just cutting her, she was not getting the opportunity to finish her sentence because he just kept accusing her of things, it was one of those moments I could tell so then I just saw her getting teary eyed and leave," Chandela said. 

“Then this lady came out to take the conversation forward, she is like Sir you cannot talk to us like that, he was the one to first raise his voice and pointed fingers at her. Obviously, any person would get riled up about it and then he also went ahead and called her a servant, which was just so demeaning and then obviously, it was in such bad taste," she added. 

The flight was a turbulent one, restricting the crew members to serve consistently and they had to retrieve the meal cart to the back a bunch of times, she said, adding that the passenger showed a tendency of more nuisance had he not been stopped at that moment. 

“I recall an incident some years ago where a new crew, just 19 years old, was slapped by a pax because his meal choice was not on board. I met her the same day, she was inconsolable and said this is not what she signed up for. She quit flying the same day," Jet Airways CEO Sanjiv Kapoor said on Twitter. 

“As I have always said, the customer is always right... until he (or she) is wrong. Physical or verbal abuse or humiliation is NEVER acceptable. As I had said earlier, crew are human too. It must have taken a lot to get her to breaking point. Over the years I have seen crew slapped and abused on board flights, called “servant" and worse. Hope she is fine despite the pressure she must be under," he added.

Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Updated: 21 Dec 2022, 07:51 PM IST
Next Story
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App