IndiGo staff mistreats specially-abled child at Ranchi airport
New Delhi, May 08: IndiGo airlines faced the wrath from passengers for not allowing a child with disability to board a flight with his family at the Ranchi airport on Saturday.
Manisha Gupta, a fellow passenger and a witness to the scene, has narrated the story in an elaborate Facebook post.
The IndiGo manager, kept shouting and telling everyone that the "child is uncontrollable".
A group of doctors, travelling on the same flight, offered to provide full support to the child and his parents if any health episode were to occur mid-air, said Gupta in her post.
"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 Gupta.
"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," the Facebook post written by Manisha Gupta said.
However, the airline defended its move and said the child posed a threat to other passengers' safety.
"In view of the safety of 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 for him to calm down till the last minute but to no avail, it said. The airline made the family comfortable by providing them a hotel stay and they flew the next morning to their destination, it said.
"We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organisation, be it for employees or its customers; and over 75,000 specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month," it said.
Reacting to the statement, disability activist Anjlee Agarwal said the incident is 'flared up'.
"While I was drafting the civil aviation rules, ensured no compromises! With realization tht situation can be difficult at pax end also. Situational analysis, dialogue frm both side, finding solutions to #support pax travel is imp.@IndiGo6E is 1 of the best, take utmost care," she wrote.