On April 8, Air India and private carriers lifted the flying ban on Gaikwad after he apologised for the incident.
Mumbai: In the wake of the Centre proposing a no-fly list for unruly fliers, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad — who was briefly banned by domestic airlines following a run-in with Air India staff — on Saturday demanded that strict guidelines should be laid down for airline crew as well on how to treat passengers.
Gaikwad was reacting to a release of draft rules by the Centre on unruly and disruptive passengers that recommended a flying ban for three months or more. The move came in the backdrop of the row over Gaikwad repeatedly hitting an Air India employee with a slipper for not being allowed to fly business class on an all-economy plane.
“There are some guidelines that already exist and updating them is a routine procedure. I think the (civil aviation) ministry has deliberately announced this to remind people about the entire episode. There should be similar framework and set of rules for the airline crew as well on how to treat and address the requirements of passengers,” Gaikwad said.
“As a member of Parliament, I am aware of the number of complaints raised against Air India’s crew, and the litigations where the staff has been accused of ignoring passengers or being unruly. Hardly any action has been initiated against its crew. If rules have to be formed, there should be equally stringent rules for the crew members as well,” Gaikwad said.
On March 23, Gaikwad admitted to hitting a senior staffer of the AI with a slipper “25 times” for not being allowed to fly business class in an all-economy plane. The incident triggered outrage and a flying ban was imposed on him by domestic airlines for two weeks, which forced him to switch to trains to travel between Delhi and Mumbai.
Later, on April 8, Air India and private carriers lifted the flying ban on Gaikwad after he apologised for the incident. The ministry of civil aviation has proposed the list which will include names of passengers identified as unruly after an inquiry by a committee constituted by a particular airline. A person identified as a threat by security agencies will also be included in this list.
While the list is characterised as ‘national’ and will have data on disruptive passengers from all airlines, the ban recommended by the committee is not mandatory for all airlines to follow. The draft is an amendment to the existing Civil Aviation Requirement, a set of rules on unruly and disruptive passengers.