Co-Passenger On IndiGo Flight Shares What Happened Before Man Slapped Pilot

A man on board a Delhi-Goa IndiGo flight service, where a passenger assaulted the captain after hours-long delay, shared a first-hand account of the incident on Monday.

Taking to his X account, Sanal Vij said he “doesn’t support violence”, but IndiGo took advantage and “hid all their mismanagement and mistakes in lieu of what the passenger did”.

He said that flight 6E2175, which was scheduled to take off at 7:40 AM, departed at 05:35 PM after facing “multiple delays”.

“As a co-passenger, I feel compelled to share my first-hand account of the incident. Before I proceed, it’s crucial to clarify that I do not support violence. I intend to share my experience and shed light on the events,” he wrote.

“Boarding commenced around 12:20 PM (after a delay of 5 hours due to bad weather) with approximately 186 passengers, including infants, young children, and elderly individuals. Despite completing boarding by 12:40 PM (approx), the flight doors remained open till 2:50 PM, with ground staff attributing the delay to ATC (air traffic control) not clearing the flight because of the congestion,” Mr Vij said.

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He said the pilot announced at 1:30 PM that they were waiting for a crew member and the flight would depart shortly. It became evident that ground staff and crew provided “misinformation”, Mr Vij said.

He alleged that the crewmembers of the flight were “observed being unprofessional”, engaging in lengthy conversations with the ground staff. Mr Vij also claimed that “multiple requests” from elderly passengers for water were “ignored” as they were “busy in their conversations”.

“The delayed crew member arrived at 2:40 PM (approx), and the plane doors closed. However, the plane did not push back for some time, leading to passenger inquiries and a verbal altercation with crew members,” he said.

.@DGCAIndia @MoCA_GoI @JM_Scindia @IndiGo6E I don’t support violence, but the airline took advantage and hid all their mismanagement and mistakes in lieu of what the passenger did. Below is a first-hand account of the incident. #DelhiAirport #Indigoairlines #Indigo

— Sanal vij (@sonalchinioti) January 15, 2024

“Around 3:20 PM, the assistant captain came out to address the passengers on the delay when the assault occurred: Violence is unacceptable, but what about Indigo’s mismanagement, unprofessionalism, and 185 passengers stranded without food for hours?,” Mr Vij said, adding that the food was provided to them after 4:00 PM.

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“The incident raises questions about the handling of the situation by IndiGo. Shouldn’t authorities investigate the unprofessional conduct and ensure such mismanagement doesn’t recur?,” he wrote further.

Man arrested for hitting IndiGo flight captain

Sahil Kataria, who assaulted the flight captain, was arrested last evening and was released on bail shortly afterward.

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In the video filmed on the flight from Delhi to Goa on Sunday, the 28-year-old was seen charging at Anup Kumar, the flight’s co-captain, and hitting him.

“Chalana hai chala, nahi chalana mat chala, khol gate (fly if you want to, otherwise open the door),” he can be heard shouting at the pilot before being dragged away by another passenger.

IndiGo’s official statement

In an official statement, IndiGo said the passenger had been declared “unruly” and the airline was considering including him in the no-fly list.

“The incident is being referred to the independent internal committee for appropriate action and inclusion of the passenger on the ‘no-fly list’ as laid down in regulatory guidelines. The safety and security of our passengers and crew are of paramount importance, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards any such unacceptable behaviour,” IndiGo said.


— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) January 15, 2024

Hundreds of flights have been disrupted over the past few days because of fog in north India.

In new rules to tackle the airport chaos, the aviation ministry has asked airlines to cancel flights delayed beyond three hours.

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