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NEW DELHI: In a possible first, the head of a prominent financial services company was offloaded from an international flight out of India for allegedly speaking rudely to the crew and arguing with them.
It was only after receiving an assurance about her behaviour that the airline agreed to accommodate the passenger on the next available flight.
The executive, also in the midst of a controversy, had boarded the business class of Air India‘s Delhi-London flight on Tuesday (March 5) when she is learnt to have started speaking to the crew rudely, sources said.When the behaviour persisted, the cabin crew informed the captain. “Some of the other passengers in business class also found her to be rude. Being a long, nearly nine-hour flight, the captain decided not totake off with what could be a potential troublesome passenger and she was offloaded,” a source said.
The checked-in baggage of a person not on board an aircraft has to be offloaded and this takes time. The flight’s departure was delayed by about an hour because of this procedure.
An AI spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident on flight AI-161 of March 5, 2024. A passenger travelling in business class was off boarded on the advice of the captain, following some argument with members of the crew before the scheduled push-back. AI accords top priority to the safety and security of all passengers and crew, and strictly adheres to rules governing the same.”
“Following the off-boarding, flight AI-161 departed after a delay of about an hour. The passenger who was off-boarded was travelling for some compelling reasons and was accommodated on a subsequent flight following a written assurance. We regret any inconvenience caused to the other passengers due to the delay,” the spokesperson said.
On being offloaded, the executive requested the airline that it was “very important” for her to be in London. “She gave us an assurance about her behaviour, and then we put her on the next flight to London. We don’t want to inconvenience anyone but unruly behaviour onboard our flights is simply not acceptable. It does not matter whether a passenger is a common citizen or a prominent person. For us, the safety of all our flyers and crew is of paramount importance,” a source said. The next flight to London left after four hours, which the passenger took.


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