Saturday, March 25, 2017

MP ban strikes a chord with airlines staff

Kolkata: The decision by all Indian carriers to ban Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad for assaulting an Air India staffer has been hailed by a cross-section of employees at various airports, including Kolkata. They see in the decision a divine retribution for all the humiliation and abuse they have quietly suffered over the years at the hands of VIPs, hoping the tables would turn one day.
"VIPs have been given a long rope for far too long. Some of them behave attrociously with airline staff and get away . Had regular passengers behaved half as bad, they would have been turned away . It is good to see the Federation of Indian Airlines display some spine and act against the MP ," said the airport manager of a private airline at Kolkata airport.
In 2007, a Left MP from Bengal created a ruckus at Kolkata airport when he was denied boarding pass for reporting late for a flight to Mumbai. The MP , who has since lost the Parliamentary seat, threatened to get the young Kingfisher Airlines ground staffer dismissed for not bending the rule. The plucky airline employee, however, stuck to her stand, and the remaining 117 passengers on flight IT 512 who had reported on time didn't get held up due to the errant MP.
The next year, a Jharkhand MP who was also a Union minister of state, booked on a Kingfisher Airlines flight to Ranchi and went a step further after arriving late. When told that he could not board the aircraft, the MP threatened to keep the aircraft grounded in Ranchi if he was not accommodated in the flight.
25/03/17 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India