What's the worst you can encounter while flying with Air India? Maybe lost or damaged baggage, delayed flights, or unresponsive crew and customer service? You may want to hold your bag of peanuts for this one - a drunk male passenger peeing on a female passenger and the crew brushing it off.
What happened? Air India recently confirmed an incident that took place on November 26 on a flight (AI 102) from New York to Delhi where a drunk male passenger peed on a female passenger, a senior citizen, in business class.
- According to reports, the incident took place shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off.
- The man walked to the seat of the woman passenger, unzipped his pants, and peed in front of her seat.
- Reportedly, the man continued exposing his private parts after peeing and only moved when other passengers got involved.
- The woman's clothes, shoes, and bag were drenched in urine.
This has been the most traumatic flight that I have ever experienced.
- The victim wrote in her letter to Air India
- The woman narrated how the flight attendants just sprayed disinfectant on her bag and shoes and initially refused to assist her.
I asked the stewardess to help me retrieve my bag, but she initially refused to touch the bag, and also told me to pick up my shoes and clean them myself in the bathroom.
- Reportedly, the woman wasn't even given a change of seat as there were no seats available. She was offered the small seat used by the flight crew, where she stayed for a few hours but was asked to return to her urine-soaked and stinky seat again.
Clearly, the crew did not feel that taking care of a distressed passenger was a priority.
- The woman criticised the Air India flight crew for their unprofessional behaviour and also said that they didn't show good judgement while serving alcohol to the male passenger who misbehaved.
Air India crew's insensitive attitude: Other than the unacceptable behaviour of the male passenger, the flight cabin crew's response to the incident was equally shocking.
- The incident was acknowledged by Air India only after the traumatised woman passenger wrote to Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekharan.
- At the time of the incident, the woman wrote that the crew did not handle the situation whatsoever, and just gave her a pair of pyjamas and slippers to change into, put a sheet on her seat, and asked her to sit tight.
- The drunk man was also not apprehended on landing. He walked free without any consequences.
What Air India had to say:
Air India has reported the incident to police and regulatory authorities for them to further investigate and take any necessary action against the misbehaving party. We have also been in regular contact with the aggrieved passenger and her family during the investigation and reporting process.
- Air India statement
- Air India also said that they have constituted an internal committee to look into the incident and have recommended putting the man on a 'no-fly list'.
- The DGCA also reacted to the incident, saying that they will take action against those found negligent.
Update: Air India has also banned the man from flying with the airline for 30 days, in a latest announcement, reported NDTV.
Air India is famous for delivering their passengers an inconvenient journey in general. The Tata takeover was supposed to turn around this image of the airline. However, so far, the story seems to be the same if not worse.