Mosquitoes In The Plane: Consumer Forum Asks Airline To Pay Rs 1.2 Lakh To Three Passengers
Besides the cabin crew, lawyer Deepinder Singh along with co-passengers Sukhandeep Singh and Updip Singh were also greeted by mosquitoes as they entered an Indigo aircraft on April 4. As reported by Hindustan Times, this uncalled for greeting, however, was ignored by the staff which they dismissed as “a minor issue and flies or mosquitoes inside the flight was a routine affair,” Deepinder Singh recalled them saying.
“We boarded the Indigo plane from T2 Terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. While entering the aircraft, we spotted a number of mosquitoes. When we complained to the staff, they showed helplessness,” Deepinder Singh said, as reported by Hindustan Times. He also added that the staff had to say that fumigation of the plane is not possible every time it takes off.
“After reaching Amritsar, we, along with other passengers, complained to the airport authority, but nobody took cognisance,” Deepinder Singh said. He and the two other city lawyers had complained to the airline’s customer care cell through an e-mail.
When the airlines refused to act on the complaints filed by these passengers, the complainants approached to Amritsar consumer disputes forum on May 29. In its defence, the Indigo airlines then submitted to the forum that they had taken all necessary measures to keep such instances at arm’s length, but “the entry of insects or flies cannot be completely guarded against”. However, the consumer forum doubted the reasonability of this argument and dismissed it as unacceptable. Anoop Sharma and Rachna Arora of Amritsar’s consumer forum said in their ruling that this instance indicated “gross deficiency in service” and unfair trade practice that caused “mental agony and harassment” to its passengers.
Taking cognisance of the complete incident and taking into account the fact that the airline had not acted on the complaints of the passengers during the flight, the forum said in its ruling that each passenger will be paid Rs 40,000 each on September 5.
The airline and Airports Authority of India, or AAI, will have to deposit Rs 15,000 in its consumer legal aid account, the forum said.
The lawyer said that since airlines charge an airport fee, which is part of the airfare, the airport authority also had to be treated as the service provider in this case.
Previously, in an unfortunate incident in April, a Bengaluru-based cardiologist, Dr Saurabh Rai, was dragged out of an Indigo aircraft after he complained about mosquitoes inside it, The Times Of India reported.
The Hindu reported that in May this year, Indigo had said they would combat mosquitoes with electronic mosquito bats to minimize the discomfort of passengers inside the aircraft. These recent incidents, however, raise questions on their effort.