Sunday, August 12, 2018

AI captain upgrades envoy from European country, gets notice

New Delhi: Extending diplomatic courtesy to the ambassador of a key European country to India by upgrading him on a flight to Delhi has landed an Air India captain in trouble. The airline has issued a showcause notice to the senior commander who flew the diplomat in business class on the eighthour journey on August 3.
However, the airline management may not have been aware of the identity of the passenger and issued the notice after getting a complaint from a cabin crew member about the upgrade — which under current rules can only be authorised by AI chairman.
“During boarding, the country manager (commercial) informed me that His Excellency Ambassador of (the European nation) would be travelling and this program was not made aware of earlier (sic). The manager requested if (due) diplomacy upgradation (be) initiated. I felt that in interest of diplomatic relations and protocol the same would be in order… informed the manager (his request) may be complied with.. all courtesies as per diplomatic may be extended to His Excellency the Ambassador,” the captain says in his clarification to the airline.
12/08/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India