Passenger bounced off IndiGo flight over mosquitoes in aircraft

A probe has been ordered by the government into the allegations of a doctor who accused staff of IndiGo airline of manhandling him and forcing him to deboard a flight to Bangalore on Monday.

“I have ordered an enquiry into the incident of off-loading passenger Dr Saurabh Rai, a cardiologist, by IndiGo at Lucknow Airport,” tweeted civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu.

Cardiologist Rai has alleged that the crew of IndiGo manhandled him after he complained of mosquitoes on board the aircraft that was to fly from Lucknow.

The passenger, who was to fly to Bangalore where he works at a hospital, said the cabin was full of mosquitoes and even though he asked the staff to remove them, they did nothing.

He persisted even after the doors were closed and claims he sought some mosquito repellant. But the crew allegedly dragged him from the aircraft and downloaded him, he claims.

The plane then took off without him and he was forced to buy a new ticket. The airline staff also allegedly deleted photographs he had taken inside the aircraft.

The airline, however, has a different version of the incident. It was the passenger’s ‘belligerent behaviour,’ and concerns raised by other passengers about his actions that led to his being deplaned, said the airline.

Rai had initially raised concerns about mosquitoes on board the flight, but before they could be addressed by the staff he turned aggressive and used threatening language and also tried to instigate other passengers, said the airline.

Some other passengers also complained about his behaviour, claims IndiGo. And since his actions had resulted in the flight being delayed, some of them felt he should be deboarded.