Air India Responds To Viral Clip Of Passenger Having Panic Attack After Being Denied Seat

Days after IndiGo was chastised for denying boarding to a crippled youngster and his parents, Air India has been chastised after a video of a woman having a panic attack and collapsing to the ground after being denied a seat because she was late was published on social media. The incident occurred at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport, and the footage was posted by a man who said the woman was his aunt; her relatives believe she received no medical help.

Air India issued a statement saying that its crew had contacted a doctor and security personnel “immediately” to check on the passenger and criticised the media for their “biassed interpretation” of the video.

Three passengers (one of whom was the woman) reported for boarding after the gates had closed, according to Air India. The airline said that its employees had called these passengers several times. The woman recovered once a doctor arrived, and she ‘declined any medical or wheelchair assistance,’ according to Air India.

Air India stated that passenger safety and comfort were its top priority, but that as a “responsible airline,” it was required to follow regulatory guidelines. The airline insisted that the aircraft could not have been delayed any more because all other passengers had already boarded.

On May 5, around 4.45 a.m., an incident happened in Terminal 3 of the Delhi airport.

Vipul Bhimani, the man who shared the video, said he, his cousin, and aunt had had some technological difficulties during the security check and arrived at the boarding gate at 4.27 a.m.

He added his aunt had heart problems and was diabetic, and that due to technological difficulties, they had asked Air India workers to assist them in getting past security checks.

“They strictly denied us any assistance by saying the security check-in issue is none of our business,” Vipul Bhimani said.

“We called Air-India staff again to inform them we have cleared check-in and… are moving towards gate 32B but we will be late by five minutes as we were having a heart and diabetic patient with us and she can’t run. My cousin reached the boarding gate within two minutes and I reached after him with my aunt,” he said.

Bhimani then claimed Air India staff ‘literally closed gates’ despite their prior intimation and with 30 minutes left before take-off. “My cousin had his final year viva (exam) on the same day which he missed due to missing the flight… My aunt got anxious which turned into a panic attack, and she fainted there on the spot. We asked for a medical emergency but instead a staff called security and asked them to leave us at the exit gate,” he said.