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Allegedly Alliance Air refused to take this national award winning artist's motorised wheelchair on board, thereby leading her to miss the flight.

“National award winning artist and ALIMCO staffer Savita Dwivedi (31) misses flight at Bengaluru Airport as @allianceair allegedly refused to fly her motorised wheelchair citing security reasons. She is a frequent flyer on other domestic carriers and hadn't faced a similar hurdle" Petlee Peter wrote on Twitter.

Read about the incident here

Savita Dwivedi was to board an Alliance Air flight from Bengaluru airport on Saturday. She reaced the airport to board 9am flight 9I505 for Kochi, when her motorised wheelchair was denied permission to go on board.

Dwivedi is a 31 year old artist who was born in Allahabad and paints with her mouth.

Savita lost her hands and a leg in the year 1994, when she was four years ols,  after she accidentally cam in contact with a high-power electric line. An exemplary painter, she has been lauded for winning many national and international accolades for her work.

She reached the Kempegowda airport to board a flight for Kochi, whent the Alliance Air ground staff refused to take her battery operated wheelchair. 

Alliance Air did not even refund the amount of around 8,000 she had spent on the tickets for herself and her friend who had come from Kochi to Bengaluru to take her here. She also accused a staff member of hostile behaviour towards her.

The disabled painter had to book another flight with a different airlines company, spending 14,000 who agreed to carry her wheelchair in their cargo belly. The second IndoGo flight was schedduled three hours after her previous Alliance Air flight. 

"I reached the counter at 8.02am. When I tried to check in, the ground staff first said I was late for boarding as I was a wheelchair-bound flyer and should have come earlier. When I showed them the time and said there is more than 55 minutes to take off, they suddenly said I can board, but my motorised wheelchair powered by a battery can't fly with me," said Dwivedi to a media company. 

She had earlier tweeted about the incident, tagging Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradita Scindia. Asked if the airline offered any alternatives, she said, "they were not willing to do anything for me. I was ready to leave the wheelchair there, provided they could send it to my place in Kochi. I am not from Bangalore. I am a humble person. I did not want to argue, so I asked them what they can do to help me," she said. 

They said they cannot do anything but can refund her ticket amount. However, "they have not refunded the ticket amount.. I had spent around 8,000 on two tickets for myself and my friend.. even my friend could not travel as I was not allowed to travel. Not only did they not refund the amount, I had to, thereafter, spend around 14,000 on two tickets to Kochi," on another airline, she claimed.

The 31 year old artist also works for Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India in Kanpur. Her struggles and achievements have made it to class 6 NCERT Hindi textbook.

"I tried explaining to the Alliance Air staff that I'm a frequent flyer with different domestic airlines and have never had an issue regarding transportation of my wheelchair, which is always boarded in cargo after removing the battery lines and the seating area folded in," Dwivedi, who had booked Alliance Air for the first time, added.

The artist had come to Bengaluru from Kanpur on an IndiGo airlines flight with her motorised wheelchair and was headed to Kochi with a friend.

At Bengaluru she missed her flight when the ground staff of Alliance Air refused to take her motorised wheel chair. They insisted that she can fly to Kochi without her wheelchair. This ultimately led to her missing the flight. 

On how the experience was with the other carrier she later flew in, she said, "they never created any issue for me. They were quick and gave a very good service. My wheelchair has a dry battery. The rule is that you cannot travel with a wet battery on an airline." 

"I just removed the battery supply and gave it to the airline and they put the wheelchair in the baggage," she said.Alliance Air said they will examine the matter involving the artist.

In May this year, an adolscent kid was denied permission to board an IndiGo flight from Ranchi, tehreby drawing severe criticism and backlash. The DGCA also fined the airline company 5 lakh for ‘inappropritate handling’ of the situation. 

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