A shocking video showing two IndiGo Airlines staffers pinning a flyer down to the ground and thrashing him has surfaced.
The drama unfolded on October 15 when 6E 487 flew into Delhi from Chennai. The man in blue shirt, Vinay Katiyal, and staff members argued over something before entering a scuffle. Katyal could be seen muttering his way through these staffers to a bus waiting for him to board it. One of the staff members, visibly annoyed, behind him, took an offence, asked the bus to move and his colleague not to let Katyal get on it.
In the video, Katyal is asking the staffer, "How dare you touch me?" Katyal, then, grabbed the staff member by his lapel, and the two people got involved in a fistfight.
Other staff members appeared extricating the two people but to no avail.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017
The Airlines apologised on Twitter, writing, "We condemn the actions of our staff & have taken stern action. We truly apologize for this. Such behavior is unacceptable."
We truly apologise to Mr. Rajiv Katiyal for this incident & assure him that the employee has been terminated. pic.twitter.com/9xZcSftgit
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 7, 2017
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said in a statement: "I acknowledge the unpleasant experience our passenger went through, while engaging with our staff at Delhi airport. My personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture. I had personally spoken to the passenger and asked for an apology. At IndiGo, dignity of our passengers and staff is of utmost importance. Any act that compromises the dignity of either is of a serious concern to us. Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated and stern action was taken against the staff. Once again my personal and sincere apologies to the affected passenger."
However, the people on social media bashed the airline for the ill-treatment towards the passenger and their alleged sacking of the whistleblower Montu Kalra, an Indigo employee, present at the site who tried to intervene and shot a video of his colleagues manhandling the passenger.
Wow @IndiGo6E first you thrash a passenger, then you sack the employee who filmed the evidence. Shameful
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) November 8, 2017
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) November 7, 2017
— Mini Mathur (@minimathur) November 7, 2017
1. @IndiGo6E have sacked whistleblower who exposed them. NOT employees who beat up passenger.
2. Apologized only after media reported case. https://t.co/7tsASQj5td
— The Indian Interest (@IndianInterest) November 7, 2017
— Priya Gupta (@priyagupta999) November 7, 2017
While some managed to slip in jokes, taking a dig at the airlines for their misconduct.
Do nothing for 3 weeks, sack whistle-blower, & put perfunctory apology when exposed.
Indigo is not a low-cost airline.
Just a cheap airline.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) November 7, 2017
— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) November 8, 2017
Now you don’t need to travel with American airlines like United to get beaten up. Our very own Indigo is there to serve you.#MakeInIndia
— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) November 7, 2017
Spice Jet : We beat competition
Air India : Passengers beat us
Indigo : We beat passengers#indigoairlines
— SocialSaint (@isocialsaint) November 7, 2017
— Vigil Aunty ❎ (@famousaunty) November 8, 2017
A minor logo modification for Indigo. pic.twitter.com/qijNVW7pe5— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) November 8, 2017
And some thought it was too early to pass judgements over a short video.
None in media checked Indigo’s story and passed judgements. Why can’t that man be wrong? Do we know if he was drunk, a threat, illegally wanted to board the plane, had a wrong ticket, misbehaved, abused etc. False victimhood means better TRPs.
— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) November 8, 2017
I think indian customer also unwilling to follow rules and behave properly, so i would like to hear out the indigo staffers also!!! Too early to crucify them
— Ashwani gujral (@GujralAshwani) November 8, 2017
However, the furious Twitterati went ahead and expressed their anger by using hashtags such as #BoycottIndigoairlines and #boycottindigo and some even claimed to have cancelled their future travels with the airline.
Cancelled by December tickets GOI-BLR-TRV and gonna book with Air India !
— Rohan (@Rohan7871) November 7, 2017
Just cancelled Pat-Del flight, going to book AirIndia or Jet Airways.— Shiv Shubham Vijay (@ShivShubham) November 8, 2017
The airline later added, "Treating our customers with respect is core to what we do. Every day we take tens of thousands of happy customers to where they need to get to. It is for this reason that customers choose IndiGo more number of times than any other airline in the country. An incident happened in Delhi airport which is entirely the opposite of this and against what we stand for at IndiGo. The video of this incident came to our attention and we took action. Even while the investigation was going on we immediately suspended the involved employees. I personally spoke to the customer and apologised to him the very same day. Whatever may have been the provocation, our staff were completely out of line and didn't follow laid down procedures.... Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated by the designated committee and stern action was taken against the staff who was he main culprit by immediately terminating his employment. He was the one found instigating and aggravating the situation. He is the exact opposite of what IndiGo's customer service aims to be."
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 7, 2017
Last week, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu had slammed the airline staff for misbehaving with her while boarding a flight.
Sorry to say ..i had a very bad experience😤when i was flying by 6E 608 flight to bombay on 4th nov the ground staff by name Mr ajeetesh(1/3)— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) November 4, 2017
Sindhu didn't give any details about the incident, but IndiGo released a statement saying that their staff was only doing his duty as Sindhu was carrying an oversized bag.
IndiGo in a statement said: "Ms P V Sindhu boarded flight 6E608 Hyderabad - Mumbai carrying oversized baggage which was not fitting into the overhead bin. Ms Sindhu was informed that it will be moved to cargo hold of the aircraft. This is the same policy we follow for all customers. Oversized baggage inside the cabin inconveniences other customers and can also be a safety hazard if it cannot be secured properly in the cabin. During the entire conversation, the member of the IndiGo ground operations remained calm."
"After several requests to her manager, they finally consented to the removal of the bag from the cabin. We then placed the over-sized baggage in the cargo hold and was handed over to Ms Sindhu on arrival. We are extremely proud of Ms Sindhu’s sporting achievements and are grateful for the laurels she has won for our country. However, safety of our operations is paramount to IndiGo. We hope that Ms Sindhu will appreciate that our colleague was only carrying out his duty in the best interest of a safe and reliable operation," the statement added.