New Delhi: Differently-abled woman flyer alleges Air India made her ‘crawl’

A differently-abled woman flyer has alleged she had to “crawl” to the passenger coach after deboarding an Air India plane as the carrier failed to arrange a wheel chair for her due to “security” reasons, a charge denied by the airline.

The government-run airline claimed a wheel chair was provided to the passenger at aircraft doorstep itself. The incident took place on Friday when Anita Ghai, a Delhi University associate professor, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi by Alliance Air (Air India’s regional arm) from Dehradun and requested for a wheel chair.

“I boarded this flight with four of my colleagues. Despite my repeated request, the (air) hostess did not cognize my requirement for a wheel chair after reaching. The flight reached at 7:30 PM. I waited patiently with one of my friends,” she said.

“At 8:15 PM, we realise that there was no chance of (getting) a wheel chair. The (passenger) coach came at 8.30 PM after repeated requests from the flight commander. Since security reasons are critical they made me crawl to go to the coach,” she alleged.

“We strongly deny the statement…We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger’s safety and comfort,” an Air India statement said.

The flight which operated on ATR aircraft landed in Delhi from Dehradun. Since it was parked at a distant bay it took some time to bring the wheel chair, the airline said.

“Since passengers were getting down from the aircraft, our support staff actively helped the passenger to come out of the plane and the wheelchair was provided at the doorstep,” Air India said.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger,” it added.