DGCA Fines IndiGo Rs 5 Lakh for Not Letting Child With Disability Board Flight
The child was reportedly mistreated by the staff of IndiGo airlines on 7 May.
IndiGo has been fined Rs 5 lakh by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for not allowing a child with disability to board a flight from Ranchi.
The DGCA has also said that it would, in due course of time, make necessary changes to its own regulations and "mandate written consultation with the Airport Doctor on the state of health of the passenger as well as as the Commander of the Aircraft for his/her opinion in allowing such passenger on board."
According to a DGCA press note, the inquiry conducted by it had found that IndiGo staff's handling of the child was "deficient."
"A more compassionate handling would have smoothened the nerves, calmed the child, and would have obviated the need for the extreme step resulting in denied boarding to the passengers."DGCA
"Special situations deserve extraordinary responses but the Airline staff failed to rise up to the occasion and in the process committed lapses in adherence to the letter and spirit of Civil Aviation Requirements (Regulations)," the statement added.
Further, the DGCA suggested that the airlines also revisit their Standard Operating Procedures.
The DGCA had constituted a 3-member team to conduct a fact-finding probe. The team had visited Ranchi and Hyderabad to conduct the investigation, and on 16 May, it said that the airline handled the passengers inappropriately.
A child with disability was reportedly mistreated by IndiGo airlines on 7 May, with the staff disallowing the child and his parents to board the plane, allegedly stating that he was a threat to other passengers' safety.
The matter came to light after Manisha Gupta, a fellow passenger, wrote about the incident in an elaborate Facebook post, describing the family's ordeal.
She also shared a video of the passengers engaged in a heated debate with the IndiGo staff.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia shared a fellow passenger's account of the incident, which sought "strictest action" against the airlines.
Later, IndiGo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ronojoy Dutta issued a statement about the incident and said, "We offer our sincere regrets to the affected family for the unfortunate experience."
Further, the CEO said, "As a small token of appreciation, IndiGo would like to offer electric wheelchair for child barred from boarding flight."
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