Mumbai: Russian slaps airline employee who asked her to stop smoking

The woman was found smoking at the Arrivals area of T2; when Turkish Airlines’ Commercial Operations Manager told her that she was not allowed to smoke in the area, she struck her

A Russian passenger of Indian origin slapped a Turkish Airlines employee, only because she was told not to smoke at the Arrivals area of Terminal 2. The incident took place at around 8 am on Monday, after 29-year-old Nina Patel arrived from Istanbul at 5.10 am by Turkish Airlines flight TK 720 (Istanbul-Mumbai) and was seen smoking near the Customs PRO counter at Level 2.

Nina Patel (right) was smoking near the Customs PRO counter of T2, and when Pinar Somar (in white) told her to stop smoking, Patel slapped her
Nina Patel (right) was smoking near the Customs PRO counter of T2, and when Pinar Somar (in white) told her to stop smoking, Patel slapped her

As Patel was smoking in a public area, two members of ground staff Mohammad Alfan Khari and Rubina Khan informed her that she was not allowed to smoke there. However, according to officials present at the spot, Patel seemed to be in an inebriated state and started arguing with them.

“When they approached the woman, she appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. As she was a foreigner, they informed Turkish Airlines about the passenger. Their Commercial Operations Manager reached the spot,” said an airport official present at the spot, adding, “Patel did not have any registered baggage with her and was waiting at the Arrivals area as she had forgotten to pick her hand baggage from the aircraft.”

Pinar Somar, the Commercial Operational Manager of Turkish Airlines reached the spot and told Patel to stop smoking. “For merely telling her to stop smoking, Patel slapped her. She refused to comply with the officials who told her repeatedly to stub the cigarette,” said an airline official. According to officials, after Patel slapped the airline manager, she hit her back and airline officials decided to take help from the police.

“However, as soon as Patel realised that the matter has become serious and the airline was on the verge of contacting Sahar police, she calmed down and apologised for her behaviour,” said an airport employee. The Russian national was let off after she wrote a letter of apology to the airline. Somar refused to comment on the incident.

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