AI mulls imposing hefty fines on rogue fliers

Published on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017

air-indiaRogue passengers involved in delaying Air India flights will soon have to pay hefty fines and face immediate registering of police complaints. The airline is planning to fine Rs 5 lakh for delaying a flight up to an hour; Rs 10 lakh for delay between one and two hours and Rs 15 lakh for delaying beyond two hours.

 

The airline took this step after three cases of high-handedness by MPs in recent past. In November 2015, a YSR Congress MP assaulted an AI officer at Tirupati when the lawmaker came late to the airport and had to be denied boarding as check-in for the flight he was supposed to take was closed. Last month, Shiv Sena’s Ravindra Gaikwad beat up a 60-year-old staffer with sandals and then a Trinamool Congress MP delayed a flight as her wheelchair-bound mother was requested to shift from emergency row as per rules.

 

These VVIP episodes saw AI employees morale taking a hit as unlike common unruly flyers, the lawmakers got away scot free. But the airline management led by chairman Ashwani Lohani is keen to protect the interests of employees and is working on a number of steps to tackle unruly passengers.

 

The airline’s proposal for levying fines on unruly passengers who delay flights lays down the protocol to be followed by employees. They will have to first inform the airport manager without any delay and then the complaint will go right up to the chairman’s office. FIR/police complaint will be filed immediately under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. The property damaged will be assed and claimed as damages from the unruly flyer.

 
While AI continues to plan steps like fining passengers who delay flights, all Indian carriers want a no-fly list for unsafe passengers. They say when hotels have “right of entry reserved” signs on their gates airlines, too, should be allowed to bar unsafe flyers from getting on board.

 
However, how soon the aviation ministry can up with a no-fly list remains to be seen.

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