• Delaying an Air India flight can cost you a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh

    After the Shiv Sena MP snub, Air India is going all out on unruly passengers with a new set of rules that includes steep fines. The airline, according to a TOI report, is planning to fine Rs 5 lakh for delaying a flight up to an hour; Rs 10 lakh for delay between one and two hours and Rs 15 lakh for delaying beyond two hours.

    “Recent incidents of unruly behaviour and assault on AI employees by passengers (whether VVIP or otherwise) have caused severe damage to the morale of employees. Even a hotel has right of admission reserved. AI must have a procedure for handling unruly passengers,” said an official.

    The airline took this step after three cases of high-handedness by MPs in past one year, the latest and the most-talked about was Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad’s action who beat up a 60-year-old staffer with sandals.

    Not just that, the national carrier plans to provide more autonomy to its managers at airports under a stricter framework being prepared to deal with unruly fliers.

    Since the incident of Gaikwad, the national carrier as well as the government have been exploring ways to bolster the existing mechanism to rein in unruly passengers.

    Providing more autonomy for Air India managers at airports, stronger mechanism to report incidents of untoward behaviour and possibility of seeking monetary compensation from the unruly flier are being looked at under the new framework, airline officials said.

    “The draft guidelines, which have been prepared with the assistance of Air India’s legal department, are now with the CMD Ashwani Lohani for his approval. Once we get the go-ahead from him, we will make them public,” one official said.

    According to the official, under the new guidelines, the airport manager would be empowered to take any “action” against a passenger showing unruly behaviour either onboard or on the ground without waiting for approval of the Chairman and Managing Director.

    “The draft guidelines also have a provision for seeking financial compensation from any such passenger for the loss of revenue if the flight is held up due to such incidents,” the official added.  Duke Dawson Jersey

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