Indian teenager with special needs barred from boarding, airline apologizes after outcry – News

Airport staff, in accordance with safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision, the statement said.



By ANI

Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 15:47

Last update: Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:18 PM

Indian airline IndiGo on Monday issued an apology and ‘sincere regret’ to the family of a teenager with special needs who was banned from boarding a plane with his parents at Ranchi airport Saturday. The airline said it had reviewed the situation and “made the best decision possible under difficult circumstances”.

The airline also gave the teenager an electric wheelchair. The statement was issued on behalf of Ronojoy Dutta, full-time director and CEO of IndiGo.

“We had a very unfortunate incident at Ranchi Airport on 07 May 2022, when a specially disabled teenager and his parents were unable to board their scheduled flight to Hyderabad,” the statement read.

He further stated that the entire staff at IndiGo was really upset over this particular incident.

“All of us at IndiGo are truly distressed by this particular incident. Since April 2022, we have carried over 75,000 specially disabled passengers on board our airline and our crew and airport staff are trained to serve these passengers with sensitivity,” the statement read.

The airline said airport staff, in accordance with safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision about whether this unrest would continue on board the plane.

“Throughout the check-in and boarding process, our intention was of course to transport the family, however, at the boarding area, the teenager was visibly in a panic. While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, airport staff, in accordance with security guidelines, have been forced to make a difficult decision as to whether this unrest will continue on board the aircraft. all aspects of this incident, we as an organization believe we have made the best decision possible under difficult circumstances,” he said.

Indigo further stated that the airline would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son.

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“We recognize all too well that parents who dedicate their lives to caring for people with physical disabilities are the true heroes of our society. We express our sincere regrets to the affected family for this unfortunate experience and, as a small token of our appreciation for their lifelong dedication, we would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son.” we. Earlier in the day, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said he was personally looking into the matter and “appropriate action” would be taken. The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also requested a report from IndiGo on this matter.

There was outrage after a social media post on Sunday described the incident, which happened on Saturday.

“Indigo staff announced that the child would not be allowed on the flight. That he posed a risk to other passengers. That he would have to become ‘normal’ before he could travel,” the post read.

Clyde P. Johnson