SLIPPER ATTACK- In a show of solidarity unseen in India's highly competitive airline industry, the member airlines of the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) have jointly decided to blacklist a Member of Parliament, Ravindra Gaikwad. The airline grouping includes the national carrier Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, SpiceJet and Go Air, while non-FIA member Vistara has also joined the blacklisting.
The decision to ban the ill-tempered MP from all flights in India follows a recent incident in New Delhi, where Gaikwad assaulted an Air India employee after he was made to fly economy class between Pune and Delhi despite having an "open-dated" business class ticket. The MP had to fly economy because the aircraft on this sector had an all-economy configuration.
After arrival in Delhi, all passengers disembarked except the MP who refused to leave the aircraft for almost an hour because he wanted to have a word with AI management. All the while, 115 passengers were waiting to board the aircraft for a continuing flight to Goa.
Following several requests to deplane, Gaikwad became abusive and started hitting an AI employee with his slippers, while he also tried to throw the agent from the aircraft.
In the ensuing police report, the 60-year-old agent, R. Sukumar, claimed that Gaikwad "used foul language and bad words against me and he took out his slippers and started hitting me.” He also testified that in the process, Gaikwad broke his spectacles and “tore away the button” of his cardigan.
As this is not the first incident involving arrogant and unruly passengers, carriers in India are now proposing the introduction of a no-fly list for arrogant characters such as MP Gailkwad, who will have to take the train to attend future sessions of Parliament.
Slipper hitting MP