Mumbai: An Indian family was allegedly deplaned from a British Airways flight because their three-year-old son was crying.
According to reports, one of the crew members also reportedly shouted at the child saying “you bloody keep quiet otherwise you will be thrown out of the window.
The Indian passenger who was deplaned, A P Pathak, said, “We were travelling to Berlin from London in British Airways, Our son started crying and a flight attendant came and threatened to deplane us if our child doesn't keep quiet and after a while, he called the security and we were asked to deboard.”
Pathak also wrote a letter to Union aviation minister Suresh Prabhu and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj alleging “humiliation and racial discrimination” by the European airline.
“I have given a letter to aviation minister Suresh Prabhu and EAM Sushma Swaraj and complained to British Airways. It was an act of racial discrimination. I request an apology and compensation for harassment of an Indian,” Pathak added.
Meanwhile, Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe in the issue.
Pathak is a joint secretary-level officer in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The alleged incident took place on July 23 on a London-Berlin flight (BA 8495). When the plane was taxiing for take off, the child’s mother had managed to comfort him; however, a cabin crew came to them and shouted at the child asking him to be seated which scared the three-year-old who then started to cry inconsolably.
Following this, the plane was returned to the terminal and the family, along with some other Indians seated behind them who offered the child biscuits to console him, were asked to deplane.
The bureaucrat alleged that at the tarmac, security personnel took their boarding passes away. The customer care service manager did not give reasons for offloading them and the management also did not take any action against the crew despite lodging a complaint, he claimed.
"We had to make our own arrangements for staying and travelling to Berlin the next day by paying a very hefty amount," Pathak said, adding that the other Indian family was given tickets for a flight the next day, without any accommodation though.
Meanwhile, the airline in a statement said, “We take claims like this extremely seriously and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
“We have started a full investigation and are in direct contact with the customer,” it added.
(With inputs from agencies)