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Air India’s Head of Cabin Crew Was Assaulted On a Delhi-Bound Flight in the Latest Unruly Passenger Incident at the Embattled Carrier

Air India’s Head of Cabin Crew Was Assaulted On a Delhi-Bound Flight in the Latest Unruly Passenger Incident at the Embattled Carrier

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Air India’s head of cabin crew was allegedly assaulted by a passenger on a recent flight from Sydney to Delhi after the senior airline official scolded the passenger for helping himself to alcohol in one of the galley’s.

According to the Hindustan Times, Sandeep Verma was hit in the head by the assailant during the altercation, which led to a chase around the aircraft and five Economy Class cabin crew trying to protect their boss from further assault.

The incident, which occurred on July 9, has been reported to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which has previously levelled criticism at Air India over the way it handles unruly passenger incidents.

“A passenger on board AI301 operating Sydney-Delhi on 9 July 2023 behaved in an unacceptable manner during flight, despite verbal and written warnings, causing distress to other passengers, which included one of our employees,” a spokesperson for the airline said.

“Upon the flight’s safe landing at Delhi, the passenger was handed over to the security agency, and the passenger later apologized in writing,” the statement continued.

Air India said it intends to pursue the complaint against the unruly passenger to the “full extent of the law”.

Verma was due to fly back to Delhi in Business Class but had to be downgraded at the last minute due to several broken seats in the premium section, the Hindustan Times reported. During the flight, Verma reportedly noticed a fellow passenger who helped himself to alcohol and was speaking loudly.

When Verma intervened, the passenger slapped him in the head and started to abuse him. In the end, a cabin supervisor was able to calm the situation, and the unruly passenger did not have to be restrained.

Air India has promised a crackdown on disruptive passenger behaviour following an incident last November when a Business Class passenger on a flight from New York JFK to Delhi urinated on an elderly woman who was sitting nearby.

The incident cast a spotlight on Air India’s reporting processes and CEO Campbell Wilson has promised a major investment in new reporting software, as well as additional training for cabin crew on how to deal with disruptive passenger incidents.

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