Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia warned Indigo Airlines after a huge backlash for not allowing a special child with his family to board the plane at Ranchi airport.
The Facebook post originally shared by Manisha Gupta who witnessed the incident has now gone viral said “The Indigo staff announced that the child would not be allowed to take the flight. That he was a risk to other passengers. That he would have to become ‘normal’, before he could be travel-worthy. And the staff then went on to state something on lines of ‘behaviours such as this, and that of drunk passengers, deems them unfit to travel”.
She further writes “He was immediately gheraoed by other passengers. They opposed him resolutely. They assured the staff that as co-travellers, they had no objection to the child and his parents boarding the flight. Several went on to the Indigo airline website and challenged the Indigo manager to calibrate his decision with corresponding statements in the rule book. There was a delegation of doctors who were taking the same flight.
“They asked the ground staff to get the airport doctor and let him/her take a call on the fitness of the child to travel. They offered to provide full support to the child and his parents if any health episode were to occur mid-air. “We are doctors travelling with this child and his family. Now let him board,” they said.
“In those 45 minutes of argument, temper, rage and contestation, the three (the family) had not once lost their dignity or raised their voice or spoken one irrational word,” said Ms Gupta.
“Then we witnessed the full display of brute authority and power. The IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd) staff declared that the child would not be allowed to take the flight because he was a risk to other passengers,” she mentioned.
“The Indigo manager also said something on lines of ‘behaviours such as this, and that of drunk passengers, deems them unfit to travel’. The other passengers opposed him resolutely and they demanded that the child and his parents board the flight as soon as possible, she noted.
“They held up their mobile phones with news articles, and Twitter posts on supreme court judgements on how no airline could discriminate against passengers with disabilities.There was a delegation of doctors that was taking the same flight. They offered to provide full support to the child and his parents, if any health episode were to occur mid-air,” she noted.
Now, IndiGo said in a statement that the child posed a threat to the safety of other passengers. It stressed that it was proud of the “inclusive” and fragmented suggestions of discriminatory behavior.
“In view of the safety of the passengers, a specially-abled child could not board the flight with his family on May 7 as he was in a state of panic. The ground staff waited till the last minute for him to calm down, but to no avail. Didn’t happen,” the airline said.