Pune: There has been an increasing number of incidents of airlines’ women cabin crew facing harassment at the hands of passengers in the news recently. An air hostess of Visatara Airlines had recently lodged a complaint against a 62-year-old Pune-based man for molesting her during the flight. This is not the first time a cabin crew, especially female crew, has faced such a situation. Several female cabin crew members have come forward to narrate their stories to Sakal Times.
Air hostesses of different airlines at Pune airport revealed their experiences of horrible behaviour by passengers on board flights. A Jet Airways air hostess told Sakal Times on condition of anonymity that during flights, they face such situations. “In a 180 seater flight, one or two passengers will always irritate us without any reason. Sometimes, they call for water and touch your hand and later say sorry. We initially think it happens by mistake, but later realise that they do it intentionally.”
Another air hostess revealed, “During an early morning flight from Pune to Delhi, almost all the passengers were sleeping. When I passed by a passenger’s seat, I realised that he touched my back. When I objected, he said that he was unaware that I was passing by his seat. I was very embarrassed. I told my senior crew member, but she suggested that I don’t register a complaint. It could happen by mistake.” Many air hostesses said they face such situations every day. When they go to complain to their seniors, they are stopped from registering a complaint.
“When we receive such complaints, we try to find the facts. When the investigation is over and if the allegation is true, we list such passengers in ‘no-fly’ list forever,” said an airline station manager of the airline, who wants his identity to be kept confidential.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has made a rule on unruly behaviour, which came into effect from October 2017, that seeks to ban passengers for varying periods of time.
The revised Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) will address unruly passenger behaviour on board an aircraft and is applicable to all Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air services.
The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behaviour. In level 1, unruly verbal behaviour under which a passenger found guilt can be banned for flying for up to three months.
In level 2, offences will relate to physical behaviour and a passenger being prosecuted for this offence can be banned from taking to the skies for up to six months and in level 3, if a passenger’s behaviour is considered life-threatening like affecting the safety of the aircraft, then he or she can be banned for up to two years or more.
Many airlines staffers reported that passengers use slangs or misbehave with them.
Unruly behaviour by passengers
An air hostess of Visatara Airlines had recently lodged a complaint against a 62-year-old Pune-based man for molesting her during the flight.
An air hostess revealed, “During a flight from Pune to Delhi, almost all the passengers were sleeping. When I passed by a passenger’s seat, I realised that he touched my back. When I objected, he said that he was unaware that I was passing by his seat. I was very embarrassed.”