Air India Wheelchair Fiasco: DGCA Slaps ₹30 Lakh Fine On Carrier For Incident Involving Elderly Passenger

Air India Wheelchair Fiasco: DGCA Slaps ₹30 Lakh Fine On Carrier For Incident Involving Elderly Passenger

In the incident that happened on February 12, an 80-year-old passenger collapsed and later died after walking from plane to terminal at the Mumbai airport after not getting a wheelchair.

PTIUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 01:57 AM IST
article-image
Representative Image | Unsplash

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday asked Air India to pay a penalty of Rs 30 lakh for  the  February 12 incident when a 80-year-old passenger flying from New York died because the airline did not bother to  provide a wheelchair at Mumbai airport. 

Details of the shocking incident

The  passenger was compelled  to walk from the aircraft to the air terminal after which he collapsed because of sheer exhaustion. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died. The incident sent shockwaves among air passengers who slammed Air India on social media for serious deficiency in service.

The shocking incident happened despite the passenger  pre-booking  a wheelchair. The airline ground staff asked him to wait. But since no wheelchair was being offered for a long time, he preferred to walk. He was already suffering from fatigue after travelling for several hours from New York.

Said a DGCA official: "Air India did not inform about any action taken by the airline against the erring employee(s) and the airline also failed to submit any corrective actions taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future."

Advisory issued to all airlines

“An advisory has also been issued to all airlines to ensure that adequate number of wheelchairs are made available to passengers who require assistance," the official added. .Earlier this month, the DGCA issued a show cause notice to the carrier, which submitted its response on February 20.

Air India's claims

The airline claimed  that the elderly passenger wished to walk along with his wife, who was in a wheelchair, rather than wait for another wheelchair. In a statement, Air India said that due to heavy demand for wheelchairs, it had requested the passenger to wait for an airline staff-assisted wheelchair but he opted to walk along with his spouse.

"In an unfortunate incident, one of our guests flying from New York to Mumbai on February 12, fell ill while proceeding to clear immigration with his wife, who was in a wheelchair," Air India said.

As advised by the airport doctor, the airline said the passenger was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

According to Air India, it is in touch with the family members of the bereaved, extending necessary assistance, and added that it has a clearly laid down policy to offer wheelchair assistance to all passengers who pre-book the same.

RECENT STORIES

Entertainment Extravaganza: Inside Spottoday and Post Babe - WideEyes Digital's Instagram Marvels

Entertainment Extravaganza: Inside Spottoday and Post Babe - WideEyes Digital's Instagram Marvels

Mumbai: Micro Markets Redefining Real Estate Market

Mumbai: Micro Markets Redefining Real Estate Market

2024 Maruti Dzire Set to Debut During Festive Season

2024 Maruti Dzire Set to Debut During Festive Season

Bengaluru International Airport Records Highest Passenger Traffic In Financial Year 2023-24

Bengaluru International Airport Records Highest Passenger Traffic In Financial Year 2023-24

Mahindra Introduces Bolero Neo+ in India, Starting at Rs 11.39 Lakh

Mahindra Introduces Bolero Neo+ in India, Starting at Rs 11.39 Lakh