Cancer patient disembarked from Delhi-New York flight, probe ordered

New Delhi:

A cancer patient, who recently underwent surgery, was reportedly disembarked from an American Airlines flight to New York at Delhi airport after seeking help from a flight attendant to keep her purse in the upper cabin.

The incident was reported on January 30 and came to light after the US-based traveler, identified as Meenakshi Sengupta, filed a complaint against the flight attendant, accusing her of refusing to help her put the purse weighing more than 5 pounds into the bag. upper cabin, as she was unable to do so due to the weakness of her limbs.

In her complaint to Delhi Police and Civil Air, Meenakshi Sengupta said she also requested wheelchair assistance for her seat: “I was also wearing a brace which was visible to everyone and they would know that I have some discomfort..because I can’t carry any weight in my hands at all and I’m weak from the surgery and don’t need to strain myself from walking a lot.”

She said: “The ground staff were very supportive and helped me get on the plane and put my purse on the side of the seat. Once inside the flight, I had a chat with the stewardess and i explained my condition to them…none of them mentioned putting my purse away.After the flight was about to depart take off, the cabin lights were dim. At that moment, a stewardess came to put my handbag in the overhead compartment. I asked her to help me put it on but she refused to put it on. do and told me it wasn’t his job to do it.”

Sengupta further mentioned that she had “repeatedly asked” her to help her, but the latter rudely declined her request and asked her to do it on her own and walked away.

“She was extremely rude and arrogant with her words,” Sengupta alleged, adding that when she went to complain about the incident, the members of the plane were “largely indifferent” and told her they didn’t want to. not interfere at all, she alleged.

“They said if I felt so uncomfortable I should just get off the flight. They were collective in their decision to get me off,” Sengupta said.

The incident has also gone viral on social media with people urging the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to take notice.

“Disgusting behavior by @AmericanAir staff towards a #cancerpatient – Meenakshi Sengupta who was taken off the flight for not putting her purse in because the cancer weakened her arms and the crew won’t help. Shame @ DCWDelhi @SwatiJaiHind please note @Pib_MoCA,” one Twitter user said.

Meanwhile, India’s regulator – the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has learned of the matter and has asked American Airlines to submit its report.

The airline, in its official statement, said its customer relations team had contacted Sengupta to refund the unused portion of his ticket.

“On January 30, prior to the departure of American Airlines Flight 293 from Delhi (DEL) to New York (JFK), a disruptive customer was removed from the aircraft for failure to comply with crew member instructions. Our customer relations team has contacted the customer to refund the unused portion of their ticket,” the airline said, adding that an investigation into the matter was ongoing.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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