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Passenger alleges AirAsia staff ‘abused, manhandled her’

 | November 12, 2017

The airline, however, has accused the passenger of misbehaving with the cabin crew and even abusing a senior staff.

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PETALING JAYA: Three AirAsia employees in India have been booked by police for allegedly misbehaving with a woman passenger travelling from Ranchi in the state of Jharkhand to Bengaluru in Karnataka on Nov 3.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on board AirAsia flight 1585, which departed from Ranchi at 9.15pm on Nov 3 and arrived in Bengaluru a little after midnight on Nov 4.

The trio, Sanmit Karandikar, Kaizad Suntoke and Jitin Ravindran, face charges of wrongful restraint, sexual harassment, and gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, reported The Times of India (TOI).

However, AirAsia has accused the 28-year-old passenger of misbehaving with the cabin crew and verbally abusing a senior staff.

According to the TOI report, the passenger, a resident of Bengaluru, filed a complaint four days after the incident.

In her complaint, the passenger said the airline staff harassed her throughout the journey after she complained about the toilet being dirty.

“I found the aircraft washroom dirty and I informed the cabin crew. The steward, Sanmit Karandikar, yelled at me and said they had already cleaned it and ordered me to return to my seat,” TOI quoted the passenger as saying.

The woman said she tried to call her sister just before the flight was to take off as she wanted to inform her of the incident.

According to her, Sanmit then verbally abused her while she was making the call.

The woman said later when Sanmit arrived to serve tea, she confronted him over his behaviour to her.

She claimed that the steward allegedly replied rudely and said “the flight belonged to him and that she should just follow his orders”.

According to her, on arrival at the airport in Bengaluru, the staff dragged her onto the runway and detained her illegally until she apologised.

Meanwhile, AirAsia, in a statement about the incident, said: “We filed a complaint with the airport police and reported the matter to the DGCA the next day, following all laid-down civil aviation requirements by the regulator…. When the aircraft was taxiing for takeoff from the Ranchi airport, the senior cabin crew operating the flight, following the pre-takeoff safety and security procedures, noticed the lady passenger… speaking on the phone and requested her to switch off her mobile phone as this is against prescribed safety procedures….”

The airline said the crew had to repeatedly request the passenger to switch off the phone, reported TOI.

In its statement, the airline said the passenger resorted to verbal abuse against the senior cabin crew, who then managed to calm the passenger down and resume his duties.

“However the passenger continued to be abusive,” it said.

According to the TOI report, the case would be transferred to airport police, which had jurisdiction over the matter.


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