The viral video of an altercation between an IndiGo air hostess and a passenger has left Twitter divided. While some people are applauding the cabin crew member for her bravery and standing up for her crew, others are also complaining about that the fact that she began yelling, and that she could have managed the situation calmly.
Here is the viral video of the fight:
Full marks to this lady for standing up @IndiGo6E shld reward and promote her…Seen too much of this ‘you are my servant behaviour’…glad she called it out #womenpower pic.twitter.com/YmBysxNl3m— Parvin Dabas (@parvindabas) December 22, 2022
A passenger reveals what exactly happened on the flight: A person who was on the same flight, Tejasvi Chandela, was witness to this entire episode. Chandela has now spoken up about it. In her Instagram post, she revealed that some of the passengers on the flight were ill-mannered and very rude to the crew. "They called them servants and were after their life for food when they know that they are travelling on a low-budget airline," Tejasvi wrote.
She also said that she personally walked up to the crew to check if they were ok and was even ready to testify or support them in any manner whatsoever.
IndiGo reacts: The airline issued a statement on the same, "We are aware of the incident that took place on flight 6E 12 from Istanbul to Delhi on December 16, 2022. The issue was related to meals chosen by certain passengers travelling via a codeshare connection."
The airline said that it was looking into the incident.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the incident and will take necessary action on the same, reported the Economic Times.
Unruly passengers on flight are a very common sight.
Here's a look at previous such instances:
1. Mother-in-law being elbowed: In March 2020, a passenger on a Brussels Airlines flight got into an ugly fight, which involved both the cabin crew and a fellow male passenger hitting each other, the New York Times reported.
The fight broke out after the irritated passenger lost his cool at the fight attendants for refusing to take action against two male passengers who were elbowing his mother-in-law.
The passenger was later arrested by the police and was even debarred from boarding the airline for his entire lifetime.
2. 'In self-defence': In September 2021, a female passenger, Vyvianna Quinonez, was arrested after she physically assaulted a cabin crew member. According to the Washington Post, Vyvianna had pulled down her tray table and unbuckled her seat belt, which was objected to by the flight attendant.
Instead of obliging by the rules, Vyvianna became defiant, pulled her hair and repeatedly punched her face. The fight attendant was so badly injured that she had to be taken to the hospital after the flight landed.
Vyvianna was arrested by the San Diego Harbor Police Department and had charges levelled against her. Vyvianna later said that she had acted in self-defence.
3. Broken bones: In October 2021, on a flight from New York's John F Kennedy International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, US, a passenger punched the air hostess so hard that she suffered broken bones.
The only fault of the flight attendant was that she had accidentally bumped the passenger earlier, for which she had apologised too. However, the irate passenger left his seat and confronted her, as she stood in the aircraft's galley. While the air hostess was taken to the hospital for treatment, the passenger was later arrested.
The bigger picture: The problem of ill-behaved passengers on flights is nothing new. On this particular Indigo flight, from what other passengers who have flown this particular route pointed out, meals need to be pre-booked. Indigo operates the flight on codeshare with Turkish Airlines, and Indigo being a low-budget carrier, doesn't serve hot meals on the six-hour flight. The quarrel was over a 'sandwich' that was printed on the passenger's boarding pass, and that he objected to. He also went on to refer to the cabin crew member as 'servant', to which she opposed. "I am an employee, not a servant," said the air hostess.
As I had said earlier, crew are human too. It must have taken a lot to get her to breaking point. Over the years I have seen crew slapped and abused on board flights, called "servant" and worse. Hope she is fine despite the pressure she must be under. https://t.co/cSPI0jQBZl— Sanjiv Kapoor (@TheSanjivKapoor) December 21, 2022
Cabin crew members are trained for emergency on flights; however, as Jet Airways CEO Sanjiv Kapoor pointed out, they are humans too.
Thought bubble: Airlines say it upfront if hot meals are served on their flights; right when someone is booking a ticket. A meal can be pre-booked in most cases. Fighting and harassing the cabin crew seems like a complete matter of entitlement that a lot of passengers suffer from.