April 26, 2006

Doctor sits up, sues AI

Pages can be written about the falling standards of Air Travel in our country. The long queues, bad food, not-so-good air hostess, and the list goes on. But a certain 72-year old doctor, Vinayak Shrikhande, from Mumbai had the experience of travelling for 18 hours, from Mumbai to New York, in a seat which could not recline. He asked for the crew for help, but they only managed to get the seat belt stuck in the socket to make sure that the journey could not be any more uncomfortable.

The surgeon approached the consumer court and demanded damages. In the landmark judgement, Air India was asked to pay Rs 2.75 lakh ($6111) as damages and Rs 5000 as legal costs. The court also issued a show-cause notice to General Manager, Air India, Narendra Kumar, seeking explanation as to why he should not be prosecuted for perjury for filing a false affidavit in Air India's defence.

Air India says that they have apologised to the consumer and offered to upgrade to first class on his next flight and that they would appeal to a higher court.