MUMBAI: Air India CEO Campbell Wilson on Saturday acknowledged that the airline could have handled the recent cases of unruly passenger onboard both its flight better, both in the air and on the ground.
On November 26 onboard its NewYork-Delhi flight an inebriated male passenger allegedly urinated over a woman passenger, a business class passenger in her seventies. Despite her protests, the Air India crew made her sit across the unruly passenger so that he could apologise. She wanted the crew to file a case against the passenger but alleged that following constant pleadings from the unruly passenger she gave in. The unruly passenger, Shankar Mishra, walked away scot free after the flight landed. In a second incident which occured on December 6 on Paris-Delhi flight, a drunk male passenger urinated on an empty seat, belonging to a woman passenger. He too was let off and no case was filed.
‘”Air India is deeply concerned about the in-flight instances where customers have suffered due to the condemnable acts of their co-passengers on our aircraft. We regret and are pained about these experiences,” said the CEO and managing director.

The airline is committed to taking action, he said. “In the instance of the incident onboard AI102 operating between New York and Delhi on 26 November 2022, four cabin crew and one pilot have been issued show cause notices and de-rostered pending investigation,” he said. “Internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing on aspects including the service of alcohol on flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board and grievance handling,” he said. The airline said it had initiated the steps with a view to materially strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future. Among them are: commencing a comprehensive education program to strengthen crews’ awareness of and compliance with policies on the handling of incidents and unruly passengers, and to better equip crew to empathetically assist those affected. Review of the airline policy on service of alcohol in flight, review the meeting frequency of the DGCA-prescribed “Internal Committee”, tasked with assessing incidents, so that cases are assessed and decisions reached in a more timely manner.
“To improve the robustness of its legacy incident reporting processes, which are presently paper-based and manual, Air India signed a Letter of Intent in December 2022 to acquire a license for the market-leading provider of incident management software, Coruson,” he said. “In addition to this state-of-the-art software, the airline is also in the process of deploying iPads to Pilots and Senior Cabin Crew. When used together, crew will be able to enter voyage and incident reports electronically, which will then be rapidly and automatically routed to relevant parties including, as required, the Regulator,” he added.

He added that the airline, upon receipt of the complaint on 27 November acknowledged receipt and commenced engaging in correspondence with the affected passenger’s family on 30 November. “The airline commenced a refund of the ticket on 2 December, with receipt of funds acknowledged by the victim’s family on 16 December; initiated the DGCA-prescribed “Internal Committee”, tasked with assessing incidents and which comprises a retired judge, a representative from a passengers’ association, and a representative from another Indian commercial airline, on 10 December. The file was passed to the Committee on 20 December and a 30-day interim travel ban imposed on the same date,” he said.
The airline said it had convened four meetings between senior Airline staff, the victim and her family on 20 December, 21 December, 26 December and 30 December 2022 to discuss actions being taken and the progress thereof, he said. “When the victim’s family requested that Air India lodge a police report during the meeting on 26 December, it did so on 28 December 2022,” he said.

Air India issued a number of statements in the past few days, but none of the statements listed these actions. Infact the Delhi airport police said that the airline gave a complaint on December 28, but did not give any details. It was only on January 4 that the airline filed an FIR.
Watch Disgusting! Man urinates on woman passenger onboard New York-Delhi Air India flight, DGCA seeks report

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