Following Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur’s allegation of ill-treatment by its airline staff on Saturday evening, SpiceJet on Sunday said that the confusion arose because she had not informed the carrier about her use of wheelchair.
In its explanation of the events that led to Thakur alleging ill-treatment, SpiceJet said that she ultimately acceded to the staff’s request to shift from her pre-booked seat that was in an emergency row to another seat conducive to a wheelchair-bound passenger.
“She had pre-booked seat 1A and had come to the airport in her own wheelchair,” the airline said in a statement. “The Delhi-Bhopal flight is operated by Bombardier Q400 aircraft (78 seater). On this aircraft, the first row is the emergency row seat and is not allocated to passengers on wheelchairs.
“As Thakur had come with her own wheelchair and had not booked through the airline, the staff wasn't aware of this fact that she was a wheelchair passenger.
“She was requested by the crew to shift to 2 A/B (non-emergency row) due to safety reasons but she refused. The duty manager and other staff also requested her to move to another seat.
“She asked for the safety instruction document wherein the exit door policy is mentioned and the same was shown to her to provide clarity.”
She ultimately moved to seat 2B and the flight departed following a brief delay.
“Finally, Thakur agreed to change her seat from 1A to 2B and the flight departed. We regret for the inconvenience caused. However, safety of our passengers is paramount at
SpiceJet,” the statement concluded.
On Saturday, SpiceJet was at the receiving end of Thakur’s ire as she registered protest about being ill-treated by the airline staff during her Delhi-Bhopal flight.
"I did not stage a dharna in the flight", she told reporters after being asked about an in-air agitation.
"I have told the authorities.
SpiceJet flight staff does not behave properly with the passengers. Their conduct was not proper earlier too. I had the same complaint today.
"They did not give me the allotted seat. I asked them to show the rules. I called the director and lodged the complaint with him," she added.
With IANS inputs