Not once, but several times certain airlines have faced the anger of people online for their negligent acts. Earlier, filmmaker Vipul Shah and his wife ‘Delhi Crime’ actor Shefali Shah slammed an airline that made an injured 80-year-old woman wait for a wheelchair.
Now, it’s IndiGo airlines who have gotten themselves in soup for denying a child with a disability to board a flight with his family at the Ranchi airport.
Sharing about the ordeal, Facebook user Manisha Gupta, who was present at the incident spot, penned how the family was not allowed to board the flight to Hyderabad by an IndiGo staff claiming that the kid was a ‘risk to other passengers’.
His parents obviously knew how to handle his meltdown – with patience, some cajoling, some stern-ness, many hugs etc. And the other passengers were stopping by to ask if they needed any help or support.”
When an IndiGo airlines staff saw the parents and kid, he walked towards them and warned them that he would not let them board the flight if the child did not calm down and become ‘normal’.
Despite that, the staff announced that the child would not be allowed to take the flight claiming that he was ‘a risk to other passengers’. The co-passengers also came to their rescue saying that they had no objection to the child and his parents boarding the flight. However, nothing seemed to be working.
‘Why don’t you confer with the captain?’ ‘ Please call your manager’. ‘His normal is not the same as your normal’. ‘Look, he has travelled many times before on flights. He was a just having a bad day, he is fine now.’ ‘ Yes, please let him travel'”
Everyone tried everything they could but in vain. And finally, the flight from Ranchi to Hyderabad departed, leaving behind the kid and his parents at the boarding terminal.
The user concluded her post by writing:
Read the Facebook post here:
AN INCIDENT OF DISCRIMINATION AND SHAME AT THE RANCHI AIRPORT
Yesterday, at the Ranchi airport, an adolescent with…
Her post was extensively shared online with a lot of people slamming the airline staff for being insensitive and discriminatory against the child and his parents.
— Aditya Mani Jha (@aditya_mani_jha) May 8, 2022
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A shocking, unlawful incident of discrimination by @IndiGo6E at Ranchi airport. #MustRead #MustDemandJustice
Reported by Manisha Gupta, witnessed by hundreds of co-passengers. #DisabilityRights#DisabilityTwitter https://t.co/wvFLfQbng5 pic.twitter.com/C4rCcMssn8
— Natasha Badhwar (@natashabadhwar) May 8, 2022
This is so wrong https://t.co/8oD0PVIGda
— sonia singh (@soniandtv) May 8, 2022
However, there were also some who were with the airline staff and said the protocols need to be followed for the safety of the other passengers on board.
I am with @IndiGo6E on this issue . Flights are not kids play . You should not expect RTC bus flexibility in aeroplane . There are rules & these rules are strictly followed . Ignorance or helplessness of a passenger cannot be risked lives of 200 other passengers .
— Shabbs (@Shabbs20) May 9, 2022
I am With the airline on this. It’s Not about Specially abler or Not, a Panic Strike can happen to anyone & It a state of panic they should not fly for the safety of their own self.
The onus lies to the parents to calm their children down when the situation demands.
— Anindya Roy (@MercuryAni) May 9, 2022
Imagine the situation where the kid was allowed and there was a chaos inside the flight, how the situation would have been.. Easy to blame airline staff, but, they have no option but to follow rules.
— Madhu Kiran (@MadhuKT) May 9, 2022
One has to see the other side as well. Mob cannot just give a clearance on whether someone can fly or not. The indigo person had the discretionary power which was used by him. How are people standing and shouting here qualified to give such approvals? Are they safety experts?
— .. (@prakhar_deep90) May 9, 2022
In their defense, the airline issued a statement saying that the staff waited for the kid to calm down, reported The New Indian Express.
“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. The airline made the family comfortable by providing them a hotel stay and the family flew the next morning to their destination. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organization, be it for employees or its customers; and over 75k specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month,” the statement read.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said he will personally look into the matter.
There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken. https://t.co/GJkeQcQ9iW
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) May 9, 2022
The incident is definitely unfortunate. Having said that, the crew must follow strict guidelines for the safety of all the passengers on board. We hope a thorough investigation is done into the matter before coming to any conclusions.