New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the aviation regulator to obtain a detailed report from British Airways over an alleged incident of an Indian passenger and his family being asked to de-board the airline’s flight in the UK.
“I have directed the DGCA to obtain a detailed report from British Airways on the issue,” Prabhu tweeted.
The development comes after an Indian passenger, identified as A.P. Pathak a Joint Secretary level officer in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, complained that he and his family were discriminated against on racial lines.
The alleged incident took place on July 23, when the family was traveling from London to Berlin on a British Airways flight.
Pathak has also informed the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj about the incident.
“After the security announcement was made my wife tied my child to the window seat but he started crying as he was feeling awkward and was a little hungry,” he told a news channel.
“Crew member shouted at my child and said I will throw you and your family out of the window.”
According to Pathak, another Indian family seated behind them “who tried to console the child” was also asked to de-board.
“The plane returned to the airport and the security personnel threatened us, “If you don’t come out, we will handcuff you. We were thrown out of the airport.”
“I have contacted my lawyers in India and London, he is working on it. If we don’t get an apology from the British Airways, and the compensation for the same we will sue British Airways.”
“It was totally a racist behaviour.”
On its part, the airline said that the alleged incident is under investigation.
“We are investigating the complaint and will liaise with our customer,” the airline said in a statement on Thursday.
“It is a safety requirement for all airlines that passengers are seated and have their seat belt fastened for take-off.”