Differently-abled woman recounts harrowing experience aboard Air India flight

Delhi University professor, Anita Ghai, has alleged that she wasn't provided with a wheelchair by crew members on an Air India flight despite repeated requests.

The professor, who was travelling with her friend, claimed that when she boarded Air India's Dehradun to Delhi flight AI 9610 on January 29 at 6.30pm, the air-hostess did not register her requirement for a wheelchair despite repeated requests.

"As I know the rules I again requested her after reaching, but I was asked to be patient. I did not even get up as I know that all passengers have to deplane. However, both Indrani and I waited. At 8:15 we realised that there was no chance of a wheelchair reaching us," explained Anita in a mail.

Air India
Picture for representation

She added, “At about 8:30 the coach came once again without the wheelchair. There was no way out for me. The crew too made repeated requests but there was no response. Since "security reasons" are critical, the coach also cannot come close to the flight. Eventually, I had to crawl to reach the coach. I lodged a complaint, which was signed by the Duty Manager. However, I haven't heard from them," she alleged.

Ghai said , “I think we people with disabilities will have to go through one trauma after another, they love to humiliate us as we are different."

Air India, however, had a different version to report. "The flight which operated on ATR aircraft landed in Delhi from Dehradun on 29th January. Since it's parked at a distant bay it took some time to bring the wheelchair. Since passengers were getting down from the aircraft, our support staff actively helped the passenger to come out of the aircraft ensuring there wasn't any inconvenience and the wheelchair was provided at the plane's doorstep. We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger, however, we strongly deny the statement appearing in media. We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger's safety and comfort,” said an airline spokesperson.

  • SamuelJ31-Jan-2016

    Inspite of air india having a huge number of useless manpower and high aircraft to manpower ratio.This shameful incident occured.The woman is right in condemning it.Now, I hope that the minister identifies the culprit and release him from the services of air india.Atleast the public will not have to bear the cost of this airlines.The ministers are just interested in making a poor show at exceptional cost

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