AI plans bully fine, questions fly on enforceability

AI plans bully fine, questions fly on enforceability

Unruly passengers delaying Air India flights will soon have to pay hefty fees and face immediate registering of police complaints. To impose fine upto R 15 lakh in case they delay the flight.

In case, Air India has to deal with an unruly passenger, it would file an FIR/police complaint mmediately under relevant section of the IPC.

For delays up to 1 hour, a fine of Rs 5 lakh is applicable, delay between 1-2 hours the fine is Rs 10 lakh and for delays beyond 2 hours a fine of Rs 15 lakh will be imposed.

The suggestions were made citing three recent incidents of unruly behaviour and assault on its employees by VIP passengers, one by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who delayed a Delhi-Goa flight by around 90 minutes on March 23 and assaulted the airline's employee. The property damaged will be assed and claimed as damages from the unruly flyer.

According to AI sources, a new set of guidelines and fines have been drafted by the airline's legal team and is now awaiting approval from Air India's Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani's office.

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Whenever such an episode recurs, the employees will have to report it to the airport manager, regional director and Air India chairman's office. While AI continues to plan steps like fining passengers who delay flights, all Indian carriers want a no-fly list for unsafe passengers.

Following the incident, AI along with other domestic airlines had banned the parliamentarian from flying for an indefinite period.

A total of 18,242 passengers were not allowed to board aircraft between April 2016 and February 2017.

The airline has also changed the log book entry format to ensure the exact reason for delay in flights are recorded, rather than generic explanations. "AI must have a procedure for handling unruly passengers", said an official.

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