Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia warned IndiGo Airlines on Monday after a spiral setback over the fact that a child with special needs could not board a flight with his family at Ranchi Airport over the weekend.
“There is no tolerance for such behavior. No one needs to go through this! Investigate the matter yourself, post what appropriate action will be taken,” the minister wrote on Twitter.
There is no tolerance for such behavior. No one should go through this! Investigate the matter yourself, post what appropriate steps will be taken. https://t.co/GJkeQcQ9iW
– Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) 9 May 2022
The Aviation Regulator Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also asked IndiGo for a report.
The action comes after the family’s disturbing ordeal was widely shared on social media, sparking outrage.
IndiGo said in a statement that the child posed a threat to the safety of other passengers. It stressed that it is proud to be “inclusive” and refutes suggestions of discriminatory behavior.
“In view of the safety of passengers, a specially-capable child could not board the flight with his family on May 7, as he was in a state of panic. The ground staff waited for him until the last moment calms down, but in vain, ”said the airline.
Manisha Gupta, a fellow passenger and a witness at the scene, wrote in an extensive Facebook post about the incident.
The IndiGo manager, says Ms Gupta, kept shouting and telling everyone that the “child is uncontrollable”.
“The only person who is panicking is you,” Ms Gupta quoted a co-passenger’s feedback to the airline driver.
The family, the airline said, were provided with hotel accommodation, and they flew to their destination the next morning.
A group of doctors traveling on the same flight offered to provide full support to the child and his parents should any health episode take place in the air, Ms Gupta said in her post.
Ms Gupta noticed how other passengers gathered around the family.
They stopped their cell phones, Ms Gupta said, with news articles, Twitter posts on Supreme Court rulings on how no airline can discriminate against passengers with disabilities.
“In those 45 minutes of argument, mood, anger and contention, the three (the family) did not once lose their dignity or raise their voice or speak one irrational word,” Ms Gupta said.