- The Indigo staff announced that the child would not be allowed to take the flight. That he was a risk to other passengers, read the Facebook post
A long Social media post on Facebook by a Manisha Gupta has brought to the forefront the harrowing experience of a adolescent with special needs and his parents when they were not allowed to board a flight by the staff of IndiGo airlines on account of being a ‘risk to other passengers’.
The Facebook post was shared by a witness to the incident which also narrated the courage and unity in the other passengers who supported the adolescent and his parents stating that they had no problem if the boy boarded the flight.
“The Indigo staff announced that the child would not be allowed to take the flight. That he was a risk to other passengers. That he would have to become ‘normal’, before he could be travel-worthy. And the staff then went on to state something on lines of ‘behaviours such as this, and that of drunk passengers, deems them unfit to travel,” the Facebook post written by Manisha Gupta said.
These supportive passengers included a delegation of doctors, government official and teacher among others.
“There was a delegation of doctors who were taking the same flight. They asked the ground staff to get the airport doctor and let him/her take a call on the fitness of the child to travel. They offered to provide full support to the child and his parents, if any health episode were to occur mid-air. ‘We are doctors traveling with this child and his family. Now let him board,’ they said,” Gupta’s post narrates.
Read the Facebook post here
The Facebook post also mentioned that the adolescents boy and his parents were not allowed to travel, while the chaos continued for some time. Despite affirmation and attestation from fellow passengers, the airlines manager refused to let the family board the plane.
Describing the forty five minutes of all the passenger trying to convince the airlines manager to let the child board the plane, Manisha Gupta wrote, “‘This child is in uncontrollable. He is in a state of panic,’ the Indigo manager kept shouting and telling everyone. But all we could see was a young adolescent, sitting very quietly on a wheel chair, terror-striken by how he was being called out as a risk to the normal world. “The only person who is in panic is you,” a woman passenger retorted.”
I was at the Ranchi airport when this happened. @IndiGo6E should be penalized for this by the Government, and a discrimination-lawsuit should be filed immediately. https://t.co/h5k4mKhxlR
The airline later issued a statement in which it said the child was in a state of panic and the ground staff waited for him to calm down but till the last moment he had not calmed down.
“The airline made the family comfortable by providing them hotel stay and the family flew next morning to their destination. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organisation, be it for employees or its customers; and over 75k specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month,” the statement read.
The viral Facebook account also mentions that the child was in great distress initially after having a “very uncomfortable car ride to the airport”.
As his parents were attending to him with some passengers stopping by to inquire whether they need any assistance, the situation drew the attention of the staff of the IndiGo airlines who said they would not be allowed to board until the child becomes ‘normal’, the post said adding that when boarding began, the child had his food and juice and was calming down.
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