An Indigo passenger, a Bengaluru-based cardiologist was offloaded at the Lucknow airport after he complained about mosquitoes inside the aircraft. Indigo, however clarified that the passenger was asked to leave the flight for his unruly behaviour and that he had used "threatening language" that violated their safety protocols.
According to reports, Dr Saurabh Rai boarded flight 6E-541 at 6am on Monday. Rai soon complained to the crew about mosquitoes and asked them to do something about it. The cardiologist eventually got into a heated argument with the crew and they asked him to leave the plane.
Rai alleged that he was also manhandled by the crew. "They called me a terrorist and said that I was a threat to other passengers," he says in a video.
The doctor also said that the crew members dragged him by the collar and asked him to leave India if he has a problem with mosquitoes.
The Indigo flight from Lucknow to Bengaluru was full of mosquitoes, when I raised objection, I was manhandled by the crew and offloaded from the aircraft, I was even threatened: Dr.Saurabh Rai,Passenger pic.twitter.com/00XKxuIAUP- ANI (@ANI) April 10, 2018
Indigo, however, said that Rai started using threatening language even before the crew could address his concerns. He also instigated other passengers to damage the aircraft, the airline said.
They held me by the collar and dragged me through the aisle, I heard crew saying 'if you have a problem with mosquitoes then why don't you leave India?': Dr.Saurabh Rai, Passenger who was offloaded from IndiGo flight in Lucknow after alleged altercation over mosquitoes in flight pic.twitter.com/oAQO6cTTAH- ANI (@ANI) April 10, 2018
In a statement IndiGo said, "Mr Saurabh Rai, who was scheduled to fly this morning on 6E-541 from Lucknow to Bangalore, was offloaded on grounds of unruly behaviour. Prior to take-off, Mr Rai expressed concerns regarding mosquitoes on board. However, before the cabin crew on board could address his concerns, Mr Rai aggressively expressed his annoyance and started to use threatening language. As the matter escalated after the closure of the aircraft doors, Mr Rai attempted to instigate other passengers on board to damage the aircraft, and used words such as 'hijack'. Such actions are absolutely unacceptable, and there is zero tolerance for such threatening language on board an aircraft. Hence, keeping in mind safety protocols, the crew apprised the pilot-in-command, who decided to offload Mr Rai from the flight. Customer satisfaction is core to our business.''
A couple of months ago, Indigo had made headlines for manhandling a passenger at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport.