On December 6, an inebriated flyer on AI flight 142, which departed Paris around 9pm local time, relieved himself on a seat and blanket of a fellow passenger, said an Air India statement. Luckily, she was in the lavatory at that time.
However, unlike the New York flight incident, the crew reported the offence, and the man was detained on arrival. The woman reached an understanding with the accused, and did not want to press charges, so AI did not lodge a police report, the airline added.
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Under the 2017 Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for handling unruly passenger behaviour, the airline crew are required to inform security agencies and ground staff for appropriate action on landing. According to sources, the pilot-in-command of the Paris flight informed the Delhi air traffic control, who, in turn, briefed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the airport security.
“The crew identified and isolated the offender and reported the incident to authorities. The aircraft was met on arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport and the passenger taken into custody by CISF personnel,” said Air India. “As the victim and the accused reached an understanding, CISF allowed the accused to leave after he tendered a written apology. In deference to the victim’s wishes, Air India did not lodge a police report,” the airline said in its statement.
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A senior airline commander, requesting anonymity, said the CAR makes no provision for these negotiations between an unruly passenger and an affected flyer. “In fact, the procedure followed by most airlines is to isolate the unruly passenger,” he said. The CAR clearly states: “Upon landing of the aircraft, airline representative shall lodge FIR with the security agency concerned at aerodrome, to whom the unruly passenger shall be handed over.”
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Under the Tokyo Convention Act Section 5, a commander has the power to order the restraint (arrest) of a disruptive passenger and hand the person over to the nearest country, said the commander, adding that the crew of many foreign airlines follow the practice of handing over a written warning card to an unruly passenger. “It essentially states that you will be arrested at the destination if you act in a disruptive manner,” he said, emphasising that the question of letting the disruptive passenger negotiate does not arise.