Days after the government introduced no-fly rules for 'unruly' passengers on flights, the first possible case of an altercation between a crew member and a woman passenger flying to Mumbai on an IndiGo aircraft has emerged.
The case, possibly the first such incident after the no-fly rules came into effect, was reported after a woman passenger, who had asked for drinking water refused to keep quiet while the crew was giving a demonstration on safety rules.
"The crew complained that the passenger refused to keep quiet during the precautionary demo of safety rules inside the aircraft before the flights starts. The passenger, who told us she suffered from a breathing problem, wanted to drink water on an urgent basis at the same time. The crew and the passengers then got into a tiff on the same which turned violent," a senior police officer told The Indian Express.
IndiGo airlines team at the airport informed CISF security personnel about an incident onboard its Jaipur-Mumbai flight. Soon after the flight landed at Mumbai, the woman was taken by CISF personnel and the crew to the airport police, which booked her for a non-cognisable offence.
IndiGo crew members filed a written complaint against Rinki Thakur on Monday. However, Thakur also filed a counter complaint against Raisa Shaikh, one of the cabin crew, for 'misbehaviour'.
As per the rules unveiled last week, a passenger who displays disruptive behaviour onboard a plane, even when it is is on the ground, can face a flying ban ranging from three months to a lifetime.
Such passengers will also be included in a no-fly list compiled by the aviation regulatory body DGCA.
According to the revised Civil Aviation Requirement of the aviation regulatory body DGCA, after an airline receives a complaint about an unruly passenger it has to constitute a committee to decide the severity of the offence and rule on the duration of the ban.
This panel will have to give its decision within 30 days, failing which the passenger is free to fly. Until the committee gives its decision the airline may ban the traveller from flying for no more than 30 days.
As per the rules, a passenger can be banned from flying for a period of three months, six months and two years or more without limit. There are different punishments depending on the severity of the offence.
1. Level 1 - Unruly physical gestures, verbal harassment and unruly inebriation fall under this category. The punishment for offenders will be a ban up to 3 months.
2. Level 2 - Physically abusive behaviour (pushing, kicking, hitting or inappropriate touching)fall under this category. The punishment for offenders will be a ban of up to 6 months.
3. Level 3 - Life threatening (assaults, damage to aircraft systems etc) fall under this category. The punishment for offenders will be a ban of minimum 2 years.