Disability Rights Alliance


Thursday, 6 May 2010

2010, Rizwan

Mentally challenged person 'grounded' by low-cost carrier

May 5, 2010

LUCKNOW : The alleged insensitivity shown by a prominent low-cost carrier in refusing to let a mentally disabled person board a flight led to a high-pitched drama at Amausi airport on Tuesday.

Talking to TOI from Mumbai, Nusrat Fatima Jafri said that her mother and sister were escorting her brother Rizwan (37), who is mentally challenged after his cerebrum was damaged when he was three days old.

While at the counter, the Indigo airlines staff refused to give them the boarding pass. They kept on saying that he (Rizwan) will be a "threat to other passengers" and that they could not allow them to board the flight as per the Indigo airlines policy, Jafri said, adding that this was despite the fact that they were carrying a medical certificate for the same. "Rizwan has travelled by air twice before, I don't know why the Indigo people refused to let them board the flight," she said.

The supervisor at Indigo counter, Rahul Gupta, refused to let them check in and when they asked him to give the reason in writing, he went off asking his juniors to "tackle" them, an indignant Nusrat said.

"However, it was the heights of rudeness when after the flight had taken off, they instead gave us a note claiming that we had not been allowed to board the flight as we had arrived late," Rizwan's sister Shaheen said. Shaheen, who was accompanying Rizwan for the Indigo airlines flight 6E-341, said that they had reached at 11.45 am and were at the counter by 12 noon. If we were late, how could they allow another passenger who arrived after us to board the flight? asked Shaheen.

When contacted, Indigo station incharge, Sagar denied the allegations, saying that the passengers arrived late and since they were refused permission to board the flight, they were just trying to harass the airlines.

"They are lying, they reported for check-in at 12.20 pm, while we had closed our counters at 12.10 pm," Sagar said.