Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Bengaluru: Wheelchair-bound professor accuses Air India of denying boarding

Bengaluru: A professor with the Indian Statistical Institute has accused Air India of refusing to let him board a flight from Bengaluru to Kolkata over his battery-operated wheelchair. Kaushik Kumar Majumdar on Monday said that the pilot of the flight had asked him to disconnect the batteries of his wheelchair.

“I was asked to remove the batteries of the wheelchair and I tried to explain to them that the wheelchair was designed to be taken by air without removing the batteries. They are dry-lead acid sealed cells. While others were allowed to board the flight, I was denied. I felt humiliated. They made me wait for an hour and then refused to allow me to board the flight. Last year, I travelled from Kolkata to Bengaluru and there was no problem,” Majumdar said.

Majumdar said he had faced a similar issue with Air India when his battery-operated wheelchair was not allowed in a flight in 2017.

Denying ill-treatment, Air India, in a statement, said: “When he was asked to dismantle the batteries of his wheelchair conforming to DGR regulations, he could not remove the same and insisted on having the wheelchair with the batteries with him in the cabin flouting all rules clearly mentioned in our website. As there was no other alternative, the passenger had to be disembarked to adhere to safety requirements.”

08/03/22 Indian Express

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