'Drunk' woman creates mid-air ruckus on Vistara's Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flight
Even as Indian airlines continue to be under the cosh over incidents involving unruly passengers creating ruckus onboard flights, a fresh incident on a Vistara flight has left people shocked. A 45-year-old drunk Italian woman allegedly punched a cabin crew member and spat on another, creating a mid-air drama onboard Vistara's Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flight UK 256 early on Monday.
Why does this story matter?
- This new onboard incident comes at a time when Indian carriers are under scrutiny over a series of outrageous incidents.
- Most notable is the incident where a drunk Mumbai man—named Shankar Mishra—allegedly peed on an elderly co-passenger on Air India's New York-Delhi flight in November.
- This, along with several other incidents, sparked a major row, prompting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) intervention.
Drunk flier took off some clothes, punched crew member
The accused, identified as Paola Perruccio, reportedly assaulted crew members after insisting on sitting in a business class seat despite having an economy class ticket shortly after the flight took off at 2:00 am (IST). She also allegedly took off some of her clothes later and walked partially naked up and down the aisle as the matter escalated, according to The Times of India.
Accused arrested by Sahar Police in Mumbai
Based on the complaint of the cabin crew, the accused was arrested by Mumbai's Sahar Police as soon as the flight landed in the early hours of Monday. Hindustan Times quoted a Sahar Police officer as saying, "At around 2:30 am (IST), the woman, who was seated in the economy class, suddenly got up, ran to the business class and took a seat there."
Accused made aggressive gestures: Sahar Police
The police officer also said that two cabin crew members had approached the accused to ask if she needed any assistance. "When the flier did not respond, they requested her to return to her assigned seat. At this point, she started shouting at them and made aggressive gestures, leading the crew to suspect she was abusing them," the officer revealed.
Accused woman punched, spat on Vistara flight crew members
When the cabin crew members attempted to stop Perruccio from misbehaving, she reportedly punched one of them in the face and then spat on another member. Furthermore, the woman began stripping as other flight crew members rushed to assist their colleagues.
Accused woman released on bail
On the flight captain's instructions, the crew reportedly overpowered Perruccio, got her dressed, and tied her to a seat at the back of the airplane till it landed at around 5:00 am in Mumbai. The police reportedly seized the accused's passport and filed a chargesheet after producing her before an Andheri court in Mumbai. However, she was later let go on bail.
Accused woman's lawyer's arguments in court
The Times of India reported that the Italian woman's lawyer argued in court that her client wanted to complain regarding the services on the Vistara flight, which triggered the in-flight ruckus with the crew members. Per reports, Perruccio was given bail on a deposit of Rs. 25,000. Following the incident, a Vistara spokesperson has also come out with a statement regarding the matter.
Captain issued warning decided to restrain customer: Vistara spokesperson
"In view of continued unruly conduct and violent behavior, the captain issued a warning card and made a decision to restrain the customer," the Vistara spokesperson stated. "The pilot made regular announcements to assure...other customers on board of their safety. In accordance with the guidelines and our stringent SOPs, the security agencies on-ground were informed to take immediate action upon arrival," they added.