Unruly behaviour: Passenger offloaded from SpiceJet plane at Delhi airport

NewsDrum Desk
23 Jan 2023

New Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) An unruly male passenger was offloaded from a SpiceJet plane at the Delhi airport on Monday after he allegedly touched a female cabin crew in an inappropriate manner, according to sources.

Following the incident which happened during boarding a wet-leased Corendon aircraft that was to fly from Delhi to Hyderabad, the airline said it offloaded the unruly passenger as well as another person who was accompanying him.

The sources said that during the boarding, the male passenger behaved in an unruly manner and touched the female cabin crew member inappropriately.

Following a written complaint from the crew member, the passenger concerned was offloaded and handed over to the IGIA (Indira Gandhi International Airport) police station for further course of action, they added.

The plane was scheduled to operate SG-8133 flight from Delhi to Hyderabad.

A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it is looking into the matter and will take appropriate action.

"During boarding at Delhi, one passenger behaved in an unruly and inappropriate manner, harassing and causing disturbance to cabin crew. The crew informed PIC (Pilot in Command) and security staff of the same. The said passenger and a co-passenger, who were travelling together, were offloaded and handed over to the security team," SpiceJet said in a statement.

A video clip purportedly of a heated argument between a cabin crew and the passenger onboard the plane was also shared on social media.

In recent times, there have been various incidents of unruly behaviour by passengers onboard flights. Under DGCA norms, unruly behaviour can even attract life time ban on flying.

On January 7, two foreign nationals were offloaded from a Mumbai-bound Go First flight from Goa after they allegedly misbehaved with a woman cabin crew member.

At least three incidents of unruly passenger behaviour onboard two Air India international flights last year came to light in recent weeks. Among others, there was also an incident onboard a Thai Smile Airways plane from Bangkok to Kolkata last month.

On January 20, DGCA imposed a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on Tata group-owned Air India as well as suspended the license of the pilot-in-command of the New York-Delhi flight in which a person allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger.

In the incident, which happened on November 26, 2022, the watchdog has also slapped a fine of Rs 3 lakh on Air India's Director of in-flight services for failing to discharge her duties.

The enforcement actions for violation of applicable norms come nearly two months after the incident, which came to the notice of the DGCA only on January 4.

Air India has imposed a four-month flying ban on the accused Shankar Mishra, who is in jail now.

On January 9, DGCA issued a show cause notice to Air India after finding the airline's response as "lackadaisical and delayed" regarding two incidents of passenger misbehaviour onboard a flight from Paris to New Delhi last month.

In one incident, a drunk passenger was caught smoking in the lavatory and was not listening to the crew. In the second incident, another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a vacant seat and blanket of a fellow female passenger when she went to the lavatory. These incidents had happened onboard the Paris-New Delhi flight on December 6, 2022 that were not reported to the regulator.

On December 29, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) filed a police complaint regarding the scuffle between passengers onboard a Thai Smile Airways plane from Bangkok to Kolkata on December 26.

A video clip of the incident that happened before the take-off of the A320 plane from Bangkok on December 26 was shared on social media. In the clip, a male passenger was being slapped multiple times by a few male co-passengers.

"With regard to the scuffle between passengers on board a @ThaiSmileAirway flight, a police complaint has been filed against those involved. Such behaviour is unacceptable," Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said in a tweet on December 29.

Under DGCA rules, the airline concerned is responsible for informing the regulator within 12 hours of landing of the aircraft in case of any incident of unruly passengers/ passenger rage/passenger misconduct reported in their flight, the statement said.

Besides, the airline concerned has to set up a three-member internal committee. It will have a retired District and Sessions Judge as Chairman, a representative from a different scheduled airline as a member and a representative from a passengers' association or consumer association or retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as the third member.

The committee can decide the duration of flying ban on the unruly passenger within 30 days and there could be a life time ban.

During the pendency of the decision by the committee, the airline concerned may ban such unruly passenger from flying for a period of up to 30 days, as per the rules.

After the committee takes the decision, the airline should maintain a database of all such unruly passengers and inform the same to DGCA, which is the custodian for maintaining the 'no-fly list'. PTI RAM ABM ABM

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