Airline Carriers Have To Deal With Lewd Passengers
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – The incidents of ‘uncommon behavior’ by passengers in recent months on mid-air flights and breaches of cockpit protocol by airline officials, including pilots, have brought significant concerns to the forefront.
These unsettling occurrences underscore the need for enhanced safety measures and stricter adherence to regulations within the aviation industry.
One such incident took place in June when a male passenger, Ram Singh, aboard an Air India flight from Mumbai to Delhi shocked fellow passengers and crew members by reportedly defecating and urinating inside the aircraft. The accused passenger has been arrested and subsequently presented before a court, where bail was granted.
On November 26 last year, despite holding a high-ranking position in a US-based company and enjoying the privileges of traveling in business class, a 34-year-old individual, Shankar Mishra, engaged in a shocking act while under the influence of alcohol on an Air India flight from New York to New Delhi when he urinated on a septuagenarian woman who was also a passenger on the same flight. Air India, acting on the incident, imposed four month flying ban on Mishra on January 20.
Following the incident, Air India has reviewed its alcohol service policy, saying that the cabin crew should be attentive to identifying guests who might be consuming their own alcohol. It also said the cabin crew should behave with the passengers in a polite manner, and not call the guests ‘drunk’ or persuade them ‘one last drink’ if they have had enough, as per the new policy.
On January 20, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), an aviation regulator, took disciplinary action against Air India following an incident of passenger misbehavior and imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India and suspended the license of the pilot-in-command of the flight. Furthermore, a penalty of Rs 3 lakh was levied on the director of in-flight services of Air India for her alleged failure to fulfill her duties.
On May 8, Supreme Court agreed to examine a plea by Shankar Mishra in the Air India urination case seeking direction to the DGCA and airline companies to frame regulations to address incidents of passenger misconduct on board aircraft.
The plea stressed an explicit zero-tolerance policy.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, issued notice to the Centre, the DGCA and all airlines, including Air India.