January 9th, 2016
In a dramatic case depicting the prevalence of VVIP culture in our nation, a national air carrier embarrassed itself and the nation by treating its passengers in the most deplorable way possible.
On Friday night, in a departure from the norm, Air India asked the pilots of its Odisha-bound flight to switch over and instead fly the plane meant for Bhopal. The crew of the Bhopal-bound flight had refused to go on duty as their duty time was over.
The reason why the pilots were asked to take up a flight they weren’t assigned was that the Bhopal flight had two judges and state BJP minister Mr. Sartaj Singh on board. These so-called VIPs had demanded that their flight take-off immediately, ignoring how it will leave the Odisha-bound passengers stranded. It is worthwhile to note that one of the passengers of the Odisha bound flight was BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy.
Amid all the chaos, the passengers of the two flights got into a fist fight as to who will board the flight with the crew.
BJD MP Satpathy decided to stage a dharna right outside the gates, protesting against the blatant VVIP culture and the complete mismanagement of situation by Air India.
Annoyed by the distasteful treatment, the passengers asked the two judges and the minister to leave the flight. Chaos and commotion ensued. Even after a long delay of four hours, both the flights failed to leave the airport.
We must bring to your notice that Air India has cumulative debt of Rs 30,000 crores, surviving on the bailout package of the previous UPA regime. Under the present government, aided by low fuel prices, Air India has managed to register its first profits in over a decade.
Air India should not forget that the bailout package is Indian taxpayers’ money and treating its own passengers who have contributed continuously to its survival is deplorable, to say the least. Treating customers well is the bedrock of any successful venture and more so in the case of Air India as it represents the people of India, besides being funded by the public. Air India ought to treat all its customers equally and respectfully.
The Logical Indian is appalled at the way our national carrier has dealt with this situation. Air India is guilty of committing a series of such acts of VIP racism in the past and it seems they learn nothing from their mistakes. TLI condemns the attitude of Air India management and the three VIPs who caused such discomfort to the passengers.
The Logical Indian requests the government to take swift action against all the people involved in this undesirable incident. Besides, we request the Airline and the government to come up with a strict no-special-treatment policy. As citizens of this country, the least we demand from our national carrier is to uphold the best practices and treat its customer with utmost importance. We dream of a day when Air India will be the most sought-after airline by people across the globe to reach to reach their destinations.
At the same time, we commend MP Tathagata for taking this issue and acting against it.