A DGCA official said that it was established that the pilot-in-command's attitude was intimidating, threatening and lacked compassion.

IndiGo pilot who threatened wheelchair-bound passenger suspended for 3 months
news Aviation Monday, February 10, 2020 - 18:33

An IndiGo pilot who was off-rostered for allegedly intimidating and threatening a wheelchair-bound senior citizen in a Chennai-Bengaluru flight on January 13 has been suspended for three months by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, reported PTI.

During investigation, it was found that the pilot-in-command "insisted" on an apology letter from the passengers — the senior citizen and her daughter — which further delayed the matter, detaining them for approximately 75 minutes after the deboarding began at the Bengaluru airport.

“It was established that the pilot-in-command's attitude towards the wheelchair-bound senior citizen passenger was intimidating, threatening and lacked compassion. The DGCA has suspended his license for a period of three months," an official said.

Supriya Unni Nair, a journalist, who was travelling from Chennai to Bengaluru with her mother in January, tweeted that the captain, Jayakrishna, “harassed, threatened and prevented me and my 75-year old diabetic mom from disembarking the flight and threatened to arrest us because we asked for wheelchair assistance.”

The tweet, which quickly went viral, got the attention of Civil Aviation minister Hardeep S Puri, who said that IndiGo informed the government that the pilot was off-rostered pending full enquiry.

In a series of tweets, the journalist recounted the threats made by the pilot and the abusive language he used, until the IndiGo staff on the ground in Bengaluru intervened.

According to Supriya, the pilot yelled at her for calling a flight attendant by his name, and for pressing the assistance button and “annoying him and his crew,”

“Taken aback, I tell him not to yell at me and then the threats start. The wheelchair guys arrive and he points at mom and says youre not going anywhere (sic),” she had then written.

Supriya went on to narrate, “He prevents the wheelchair people from taking my mom out of the aircraft threatening us that he will ensure we are detained and spend a night in jail.”

Following this, the pilot had allegedly threatened her by saying that IndiGo’s CEO would ensure that she spends a night in jail, and that she would be taught some manners.

“You have paid piddly 2000 rupees you don't own the aircraft he adds. I will make sure you are barred from the skies he yells my mom and me (sic),” Supriya had written.

“My intent of putting this out on social media is that we went through a very bad experience. It’s very traumatic, and I don’t think any passenger should go through that. It shouldn’t happen to anyone,” Supriya had then told TNM.

“No passenger should be treated like that ever — my mother needed a wheelchair, but wheelchair or not, young or old, no one should be spoken to like that,” she added. 

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