According to Air India officials, the MP had booked front row seats on makemytrip.com and had paid extra for those seats.
New Delhi: Close on the heels of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad hitting an Air India staffer, Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha member Dola Sen allegedly delayed Air India’s Delhi-Kolkata flight by nearly 40 minutes on Friday afternoon after an argument over seating arrangement.
While Air India officials said the TMC MP “shouted and screamed” at the cabin crew apart from delaying the flight, Ms Sen, however, reportedly denied the allegations of any unruly behaviour and told TV channels that she had not delayed the flight.
According to Air India officials, the MP had booked front row seats on makemytrip.com and had paid extra for those seats. But she could only be booked on emergency exit seats, which also have similar leg room. But when Ms Sen boarded the plane with her wheelchair-bound mother, she was told by the cabin crew that rules do not permit wheelchair-bound passengers to sit on emergency exit seats, said Air India.
The airline said the MP didn’t mention that she was being accompanied by a wheelchair-bound passenger at the time of booking tickets. Following this, the TMC MP allegedly “shouted and screamed” at the cabin crew, Air India officials said. This forced the pilot to come out of the cockpit, who offered business class seats to the MP’s mother but Ms Sen reportedly declined.
Air India officials said the pilot exercised his discretionary powers and permitted Ms Sen and her mother to sit on the emergency exit seats.
The unpleasant episode comes on the heels of the incident last month in which Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad allegedly beat up an Air India employee after a flight following which he was banned from flying by Indian carriers till Friday when the government revoked the ban.
Significantly, a Trinamool Congress MP had also questioned the government on the rules under which Mr Gaikwad had been initially banned.