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IndiGo fined Rs 5 lakh for not allowing special needs child on board

IndiGo fined Rs 5 lakh for not allowing special needs child on board

Indian airline IndiGo has been fined Rs 5 lakh for not allowing a child with special needs on board. The probe into the incident found the staff was not efficient in handling the situation.

The country's top regulator for air travel, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said the handling of the special child, but IndiGo ground staff was "deficient". They ended up exacerbating the situation. The overseeing body will be revisiting the regulations to avoid such future incidents.

The statement from the regulatory body said a more compassionate behaviour from the staff would have calmed the child and smoothened the nerves. It would have prevented the need for the extreme step of denying boarding to the passengers, reported NDTV.

The regulator further said special situations like this deserve "extraordinary responses" but the Airline staff "failed to rise up to the occasion". They committed lapses in adherence to the letter and spirit of the Civil Aviation Requirements.

The incident of May 7 was widely criticised after another passenger posted a detailed description on social media. After the special needs child, a teenager, showed signs of panic, the family was denied boarding on the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight.

The passenger wrote that the IndiGo manager kept shouting that the child was "uncontrollable". The Airline staff refused to budge even after other passengers supported the family. IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta later said the staff was "forced to make a difficult decision".

The Airline official added that the family was denied boarding in line with the safety guidelines because the commotion may have carried forward aboard the aircraft. The family was later provided a hotel stay and flight the next morning to their destination by the airline.

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