Air India crew forced woman to face accused who urinated
The woman—who had a horrendous experience after a drunk co-passenger urinated on her on an Air India flight in November—was forced to face the accused by the crew as he begged to be spared, claiming he was a "family man," new documents reveal. Air India told the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) the incident wasn't reported as she allegedly retracted her initial complaint.
Why does this story matter?
- The elderly woman who was traveling in business class on Air India's New York-Delhi flight on November 26 alleged the crew let the accused walk free after landing despite being aware of the situation.
- An FIR in the matter was filed on January 4—nearly 40 days after the incident—only after she wrote to N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, which owns Air India.
Made to sit opposite accused as he apologized
The woman's letter, which is part of the FIR, stated that she didn't want to face the accused and demanded he be arrested on arrival. However, the crew brought him to her, and they were made to sit opposite each other in the crew seats. She added that the accused apologized profusely while crying, making it difficult for her to insist on his arrest.
Crew passed woman's contact number to offender
The airline gave the woman's number to the accused so he could pay for her shoes and dry-cleaning, but she declined as she didn't want it, she wrote. She called the crew "deeply unprofessional" as they didn't prioritize her safety and comfort. After the incident, a stewardess sprayed disinfectant on her bag and shoes and gave her pajamas and disposable slippers to change into.
Seats were vacant in first class but not given
Following the incident, the woman was reportedly given a narrow crew seat, where she sat for an hour before being asked to return to her seat, on which the crew had put sheets. She was given another crew seat two hours later. Another co-passenger later told her that several seats were vacant in the first class, which the pilots vetoed giving her, she alleged.
Accused identified, currently on the run
The police are currently on the lookout for the accused, identified as Shankar Mishra, a Mumbai-based businessman, who is absconding. He was banned from Air India for 30 days, and an airport alert was issued for him, too. The police are also set to give notice to all cabin crew members who were on board during the incident and call them for a statement.