Mumbai: Pilot offloads British family over chickenpox concerns
One of the family members was observed to have chickenpox, but did not have the necessary medical certificate that would have been required upon arrival in London
A British family of five was offloaded from a London-bound flight after one of them was observed to be suffering from chickenpox. The decision to offload them was taken by the pilot, as the patient did not have the necessary medical certificates that would have been required at the airport in London.
Valentina Lenin and four other family members, including an infant, Oviya, boarded Jet Airways flight 9W 120, which was to take off for London Heathrow at 1.40 am yesterday. However, crewmembers observed that one of the family members was down with chickenpox, but had not undergone the mandatory test clearing them to fly.
The fitness certificate would have been required upon disembarking at Heathrow. The pilot asked them to leave the aircraft and the family was taken back to the terminal through boarding gate 67 so that the patient could undergo a quick medical test by the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd’s (MIAL) on-duty doctor.
According to the regulations set down by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), the pilot has full authority to offload a passenger in a situation like this. After they completed the procedure, they were asked to take the next flight out — 9W 118 that was scheduled to take off at 12.55 pm the same day.
That flight was delayed by 27 minutes and finally departed at 1.07 pm, nearly 12 hours after the family was originally supposed to take off. The flight had a total of 30 business class passengers, 306 economy passengers and 13 crewmembers.
Commenting on the incident a Jet Airways spokesperson said, “A guest booked for travel along with the family on Jet Airways flight 9W 120 from Mumbai to London Heathrow was suspected to have a contagious medical condition which requires a mandatory fitness certificate as per the guidelines of the airport authorities at London Heathrow.
Since the guest did not have the medical certificate, the family was offloaded before departure. Following the issuance of a fitness certificate post examination by a Mumbai Airport doctor, the guests were booked on the subsequent flight 9W 118 to London Heathrow.”
Yesterday, two more passengers were offloaded from other flights from Mumbai Airport. One flier was detected with .32 caliber bullets and was first offloaded and then handed over to the Sahar police. Another passenger was offloaded after his passport was found to have validity issues.