Fact Check: Did Air India Charge Passengers Thrice The Normal Fare For Rescuing Them Amid Lockdown?

The Logical Indian fact check team investigates the claim that Air India flouted social distancing norms and charged passengers three times the usual fare.

India   |   11 May 2020 2:03 PM GMT
Writer : Aditi Chattopadhyay | Editor : Bharat Nayak | Creatives : Nandan M
Fact Check: Did Air India Charge Passengers Thrice The Normal Fare For Rescuing Them Amid Lockdown?

Soon after India started one of the biggest rescue operations, Vande Bharat, on May 7, a video of passengers confronting the airline staff after they were asked to pay three times the fare is being circulated on social media platforms.

'Vande Bharat' is the massive repatriation operation planned by the Indian government to bring back stranded Indians in different parts of the world amid the coronavirus crisis.

The 45-second long video is being shared claiming that despite charging three times the usual fare the airlines is not following social distancing norms. It is also being claimed that this incident happened in an Air India flight.

A Facebook user shared the video and wrote that there was no provision for an empty seat between two passengers.

"The passengers didn't get even a single seat empty between them," he wrote.

It has been shared over 400 times.

The video has also been shared several times on Facebook and Twitter.




Claim:

Air India flouted social distancing norms and charged passengers three times the usual fare.

Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

Video Is From Pakistan

Breaking the video into individual frames using the tool, InVid, a Google Reverse Image search was done.

This led to a news report by ANI (Asian News International) which was published on April 29.

The report, titled, '"So coronavirus outside but not inside flight?": Amateur video shows Pakistanis complaining about no social distancing in PIA flight' suggested that the flight seen in the viral video is a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight.

A keyword search with "PIA flight social distancing" led to a broadcast on Youtube which was uploaded by a Pakistani news channel, GNN, on 26 April. The video showed the same visuals seen in the viral video.

Further, a news report by Samaa TV, a Pakistani news and entertainment television network, titled, 'PIA passengers protest violation of social distancing rules during flight' talked about the incident.

The report, published on April 26, said that the passengers complained that the airline was charging a whopping $3,000 for flights that previously cost $1,400 but still failed to take apt measures.

"The tickets were overpriced because the flight had to come back from Canada empty," a PIA spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Government Rubbishes Claim

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, PIB fact check team said that the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that video that is being circulated is fake. The Ministry has also added that the video is from a neighbouring country's airline.

Air India also tweeted that the video is not of an Air India aircraft.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343

Also Read: Fact Check: Who Is Paying For Migrants' Train Tickets To Return To Their Homes?

Claim Review :  Air India flouted social distancing norms and charged passengers three times the usual fare.
Claimed By :  Social media posts
Fact Check :  Misleading
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Contributors

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.

Bharat Nayak

Bharat Nayak

Founding Editor- Special Project

As the founding editor, Bharat had been heading the newsroom during the formation years of the organization and worked towards editorial policies, conceptualizing and designing campaign strategies and collaborations. He believes that through the use of digital media, one could engage the millennial's in rational conversations about pertinent social issues, provoking them to think and bring a behavioral change accordingly.

Nandan M

Nandan M

Trainee Creative Producer

Creative designer Skilled in Photography, Graphics, Typography, Animation, and Editing. Strong arts and design professional with a diploma focused on adobe suit.

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