Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Vistara staff take wheelchair away from sick elderly man at IGIA

New Delhi: Close on the heels of an appalling incident surfacing on social media in which Vistara airline staff left a visually-impaired elderly passenger unattended while the rest of the travelers were deboarded on August 31, another incident involving an elderly couple has surfaced. The incident that took place on August 25 involves 83-year-old SS Upadhyaya, who is unable to walk due to multiple surgeries and a recent head injury. Upadhyaya and his 78-year-old wife had to travel to Delhi from Mumbai for a family function.  Because of Upadhyaya’s health condition they had requested for a wheelchair for him, which was duly provided by the airline at a price. However, once they landed in Delhi, by the Mumbai-Delhi flight UK 960, the aged couple was left alone at the arrival waiting area at IGIA and the wheelchair was also taken away from him. The staff told them that they needed the wheelchair for other passengers and were unable to wait for their vehicle, which was stuck in traffic, to arrive. The old couple somehow struggled and made their way from the arrival lounge to their vehicle when it arrived, which was quite a long walk for them along with their luggage.

 According to their son-in-law, R David, who was the one who picked the couple up from the IGIA, “Basic courtesy should have been extended to ensure that they reached their vehicle comfortably and there was somebody to assist them with their luggage.” When a complaint was made Vistara responded, “We are deeply sorry to hear about your concerns regarding wheelchair assistance. Upon receiving your complaint, we conducted a thorough investigation into the issue you raised and would like to inform you that the customers asked the staff to take them to Gate no.2 at arrival's exit.

The staff took them to Gate no. 2 and waited for approximately 10 minutes. Due to stringent security regulations at the airport, our staff is not permitted to escort passengers beyond the exit gate. This limitation is in place to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and visitors within the terminal.

Since private vehicles are not permitted in arrivals and keeping in mind the situation, staff assisted and took them to multi-level parking-1, and the same was communicated to the customers. We note that it was taking longer for you to reach the parking area hence the staff took the customer's permission and dropped them to the Level-1 visitor sitting area. It is disheartening to learn that they felt unattended and we would like to offer our sincerest apologies for any distress this may have caused.

06/09/2023 Pioneer

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