‘Alliance Air denies boarding’, claims award-winning artist who travels in wheelchair

Trouble continues between airlines and specially-abled passengers in India as another wheelchair-bound passenger was recently denied boarding. According to a report in PTI, an award-winning physically challenged artist has claimed that he was stopped from boarding an Alliance Air flight from Bengaluru to Kochi. This incident has come to light after many such incidents have […]
 


‘Alliance Air denies boarding’, claims award-winning artist who travels in wheelchair

Trouble continues between airlines and specially-abled passengers in India as another wheelchair-bound passenger was recently denied boarding. According to a report in PTI, an award-winning physically challenged artist has claimed that he was stopped from boarding an Alliance Air flight from Bengaluru to Kochi. This incident has come to light after many such incidents have come to light from across the country. The mistreatment of passengers with disabilities has become a challenge not only for the airlines but also for the DGCA, which has recently issued guidelines for such incidents.

Sarita Dwivedi claimed she was not allowed to take her battery-powered wheelchair on an Alliance Air flight and was asked to leave her wheelchair behind, or book a flight on another airline. He further claimed that Alliance Air did not even refund the amount of around Rs 8,000 spent on the ticket for himself and his friend, who had come from Kochi to Bengaluru to pick him up here. She also accused a staff member of being hostile towards her.

Alliance Air is yet to issue a statement on the issue. Dwivedi said that later he had to spend around Rs 14,000 to travel by another private plane to reach here with his friend. He said the airline also carried his wheelchair in the cargo of the plane without any restrictions.

However, what happened at the Alliance Air counter at Kempegowda International Airport on Saturday was a very bad experience, she said. Asked if she plans to sue the airline or take any other action, she said she is not sure how to go about it.

Giving details of her ordeal, Dwivedi said that she reached the check-in counter at around eight in the morning, an hour before the departure of the flight as per the one-hour rule. “The first thing the airline guy said when he saw me was that if you were traveling in a motorized wheelchair, you should be a little early. Then I got a little angry and said that I was on time. I told him the person doing the scan to scan the wheelchair so I could go. Then he said that I was late. Then he said ‘Madam you cannot travel by motorized wheelchair as it was battery operated’.

When asked whether the airline official gave the reason for not allowing wheelchairs, he said, “They said there are some guidelines against it. But these guidelines are with every airline.”

“He said that in view of the guidelines, I cannot take my wheelchair. So either I must leave it behind or I cannot travel in flight. That’s how they were talking to me. I felt so bad,” she said. He had earlier tweeted about the incident tagging Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradita Scindia.

Asked if the airline offered any option, he said, “They were not ready to do anything for me. I was ready to give up the wheelchair provided they could send it to my place in Kochi. I am not from Bangalore. I am a humble person. I didn’t want to argue, so I asked them what they could do to help me,” she said. They said that they cannot do anything but refund their ticket amount.

However, “they have not refunded the ticket amount. I had spent around Rs 8,000 on two tickets for myself and my friend. Even my friend could not travel as I was not allowed to travel. Not only that, they did not refund the amount. After that, I had to spend around Rs 14,000 on two tickets to Kochi,” on another airline, he claimed.

Dwivedi reached Kochi on Saturday afternoon instead of in the morning as she had originally planned. When asked whether Alliance Air has approached him to refund the amount later, Dwivedi said, “Nothing. They don’t have any facilities. They don’t know how to talk to people. They just keep on arguing and shouting. It was disturbing.”

He claimed that initially the airline did not allow him to get his boarding pass and then he said that his manager is coming and after he has to wait for him, then only they can do anything.

After a long wait a man came who was a senior supervisor in Alliance Air and not a manager. “So I asked the person at the counter who had earlier stopped me from boarding if this was the same person he talked about. But he didn’t respond properly.”

He said that the man started shouting at him that he was the responsible person and that he would take the decision in the absence of the manager who was not here. Dwivedi said that he asked him why he was made to wait so long at the airport if the manager was not going to come.

“After this, I calmly asked them to send me to Kochi. I said I don’t want refund… They said we can’t do that and I can only get refund. He said I should book another flight. airline. This is how he replied. Then he said that I can travel by his airline, but the wheelchair cannot be carried along,” he added.

For Dwivedi, who had covered the long distance from Indiranagar in Bangalore to the airport, by then everything was “bad” and he later demanded that the airline explain in writing why he was not allowed to board his flight. Went.

“After traveling so far alone and managing everything physically, mentally and financially, he spoiled everything for me. It is difficult for a person like me. It is my nature to speak softly to people and I was talking to them calmly. airports to find solutions. They are the ones who started arguing and then started shouting at me,” he alleged.

Airport Authority of India personnel were present there and provided them food and water and consoled them. He also tried to reason with the airline official, but in vain. “Then I asked him to give in writing why I missed my flight, why I was not allowed to board,” she said.

Dwivedi said that after this the officer wrote for formality why she was not allowed to board and she also agreed for refund for booking tickets on another flight as she was getting late. However, when the officer realized that she was going to fly from another airline, she said that he would not give anything in writing and left with the paper, he claimed.

What the experience was like with the second career took off after she said, “They never created a problem for me. They were fast and gave very good service. My wheelchair has a dry battery. The rule is that you cannot travel. With a wet battery on an airline.”

“I just took off the battery supply and gave it to the airline and they put the wheelchair in the luggage,” she said. “I travel a lot and I have never faced this problem wherever I go. This time the travel agent booked the ticket on Alliance Air. He did not mention that I was handicapped or a wheelchair user at the time of booking the ticket. This is essential if I need a wheelchair. But I carry my wheelchair, so what is the need to put it (while booking the ticket)?”

“Otherwise, imagine if I am traveling with a prosthesis and suddenly something happens to me and I cannot walk. I will definitely bring my wheelchair without any knowledge. Are they so unprofessional that they cannot handle such a situation,” she said. Asked.