IndiGo fined Rs 5 lakh for denying boarding to special needs child
New Delhi, May 28: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the country's top regulator for air travel has decided to impose a penalty of Rs 5 lakhs on the IndiGo for not allowing a boy with special needs to board a flight from Ranchi.
"It has been observed that the handling of the special child by the Indigo ground staff was deficient and ended up exacerbating the situation," said a statement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
A more compassionate handling would have smoothened nerves, calmed the child and obviated the need for the extreme step resulting in denied boarding to the passengers, it mentioned.
Special situations deserve extraordinary responses but the airline's staff failed to rise up to the occasion, and in the process, committed lapses in adherence to the letter and spirit of the Civil Aviation Requirements (regulations), it noted.
"In view of this, the competent authority in the DGCA has decided to impose a penalty of Rs 5 lakhs on the airline under the provisions of the relevant Aircraft Rules," it mentioned.
The DGCA had on May 9 formed a three-member team to investigate the incident.
The probe found that "the handling of the special child by the Indigo ground staff was deficient and ended up exacerbating the situation".
IndiGo had on May 9 said the boy was denied permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight as he was "visibly in panic". As the boy was prohibited from boarding, his parents - who were accompanying him - also decided not to enter the plane.