In a bizarre incident involving the Tata group-owned Air India airline, a man, in an inebriated condition, urinated on a female co-passenger and her seat in the business class of a New York-Delhi flight on November 26, 2022.
Despite causing major harassment to the woman, and thus committing a crime, no immediate action was allegedly taken against the accused. However, weeks after the incident, Air India has now reportedly filed a complaint against the accused and also formed a committee to look into the matter, a news agency reported.
The victim woman, who's in her 70s, also claims to have written a letter to Tata Sons chief N Chandrasekaran, describing her ordeal and the poor handling of the incident by Air India staff. The letter reportedly prompted the airline to file a case against the accused, and form an internal committee to probe the incident.
Air India's internal committee has, for now, suggested putting the accused on a "no-fly list" for the next 30 days or until the final decision is taken in the case. The aviation regulator (DGCA) has also sought an action-taken report from the Tata-owned carrier.
If found guilty, the accused will face actions as per the regulatory guidelines.
On the day of the incident, after the accused allegedly urinated on the woman and her seat, and even exposed his private parts, she reportedly complained to the Air India crew. After calming her down, allegedly saying there was no vacant seat available, one of the crew members provided her their own seat and gave additional clothes to change into. However, no swift action was taken against the passenger when the flight landed in Delhi.
Notably, a similar incident had happened on an Air India flight in August 2018 when a drunk man urinated on the seat of a woman passenger on a JFK-Delhi flight. "We strongly condemn the incident perpetrated by a passenger on our flight AI102 of 30th August JFK to Delhi. Our cabin crew promptly went all out to alleviate the inconvenience of the passenger from the moment the incident occurred till the flight touched down in Delhi. While an airline has no control over the behaviour of an individual pax, our crew are trained to handle any situation with utmost care and concern,” Air India stated at that time.
The Air India incident comes to light days after a video of some Indian passengers indulging in a scuffle on a Thai Smile Airway flight went viral on social media last month.
The fight broke out after a passenger refused to adjust his seat to an upright position, as part of the flight safety protocol. Despite the crew repeatedly telling the passenger to adjust his seat, he refused. Following this, another passenger got into an argument with him, which later led to a major scuffle. In the video, five to six passengers were seen hitting the said passenger after the verbal spat.
As the crew and other passengers tried to stop the fight, the passenger attempted to defend himself. Later, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security said it has filed a police case under appropriate sections against all involved.
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