Lucknow, April 14, 2018: A Bengaluru-based cardiologist, Dr Saurabh Rai, was offloaded on Monday morning from an IndiGo flight at Lucknow airport after his complaints about mosquitoes aboard the aircraft turned into an altercation with flight crew. IndiGo said he had used “threatening language” and words such as “hijack” and that they had acted according to safety protocols.
Dr Rai boarded the aircraft at around 6am on Monday. According to reports, soon after entering the aircraft, Rai complained of mosquitoes and asked the crew to address the issue. But the crew asked him to sit down quietly according to indiatimes.com.
The agitated cardiologist eventually got into an altercation with the crew. Things turned ugly when airline staff asked Rai to leave the aircraft and walk back to the terminal from the runway. The incident comes months after Indi-Go staff manhandled and dragged a passenger at New Delhi airport.
In a video posted on social media, Rai alleged he was manhandled by airline staff. “They (the crew members) called me a terrorist and said that I was a threat to other passengers,” he says in the video. IndiGo issued a statement saying, “Mr Saurabh Rai, who was scheduled to fly this morning on 6E-541 from Lucknow to Bangalore, was offloaded on grounds of unruly behaviour.
Prior to take-off, Mr Rai expressed concerns regarding mosquitoes on board. However, before the cabin crew on board could address his concerns, Mr Rai aggressively expressed his annoyance and started to use threatening language.
As the matter escalated after the closure of the aircraft doors, Mr Rai attempted to instigate other passengers on board to damage the aircraft, and used words such as ‘hijack’. Such actions are absolutely unacceptable, and there is zero tolerance for such threatening language on board an aircraft. Hence, keeping in mind safety protocols, the crew apprised the pilot-in-command, who decided to offload Mr Rai from the flight. Customer satisfaction is core to our business…’’