Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Airline to crack down after MPs behave like spoilt brats

Air India (AI) is preparing to launch a new set of standard operating procedures - including the introduction of heavy fines - to crack down on unruly flyers.

The move follows air-rage incidents involving politicians who behaved like badly-behaved children on flights.

"Recent incidents of unruly behaviour and assault on AI employees by passengers (whether VVIP or otherwise) have caused severe damage to the morale of employees," said an Air India spokesman. "Even a hotel has right of admission reserved. AI must have a procedure for handling unruly passengers."

Passengers delaying flights beyond two hours in an air rage incident could be fined over $30,000 - although exactly how the airline would force miscreants to pay up is unclear. 

The draft SOPs detail steps for the crew and ground staff in the event of ugly incidents such as two recent controversies involving parliamentarians Ravindra Gaikwad and Dola Sen.

Gaikwad was banned from flying by six airlines after he assaulted a senior Air India official with his sandals, allegedly angry over the state-run carrier shifting him from business class to economy on a domestic flight. 

But he was removed from the "no fly" list after parliamentary intervention. In India, VVIPs and VIPs wield enormous power. 

Air India says the Gaikwad incident caused a flight delay of 90 minutes. He did not apologise and has not been charged. Clearly a tool. Sen had an argument with the cabin crew and delayed his flight for 39 minutes.

The proposal lists six steps to tackle similar situations, including informing the airport manager, no direct interaction with media, immediate filing of police complaint, assessment of damage, and fining a misbehaving flyer in accordance with the length of the delay.

Wouldn't it be nice to see drunk, petulant or arrogant flyers fined after they have inconvenienced every else on to their flight? Can't see it happening though.

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