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Forced to travel economy class, Sena MP assaults Air India staffer with slipper

Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer after he was forced to travel economy class though he had an open business class ticket, official sources said on Thursday.

The incident happened when flight AI852 from Pune landed at New Delhi airport around 10.30 a.m. on Thursday.

Apparently nursing a grouse, Gaikwad – who represents Osmanabad (Maharashtra) in Lok Sabha – refused to get off the flight, causing inconvenience to other passengers and crew on board.

Air India sent some officials to enquire the matter and learnt that he was forced to travel economy class though he held an open executive class ticket.

When they requested him to get up and deboard, Gaikwad reportedly flared up and assaulted them with his slipper, the sources said.

Later, he deboarded the flight. He also admitted hitting the AI staffer but alleged they misbehaved with him.

The sources said the flight was operated by an old ATR aircraft which has only economy class configuration. So he could not have been allotted a business class seat.

Air India has set up a panel to probe the incident before taking any further steps.

Meanwhile, Gaikwad has been trolled on social media networks for his unruly conduct and some asked his party to take action against him.