Fed up with increasing number of cases wherein unruly passengers have delayed flight operations, Air India is considering a proposal to impose fines of up to Rs 15 lakh on such passengers. For flight delay up to an hour, the fine will be Rs 5 lakh; for delay of 1-2 hour, the fine will be Rs 10 Lakh; and for delay more than 2 hours, the fine will be Rs 15 lakh. There will also be a provision to file an FIR/police complaint under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. The incident will be reported to the airport manager and escalated up to the chairman’s office.
These fines are not intended to recover the losses of the airline, but just to act as a strong deterrent against unruly passengers. The idea to impose fines comes in the wake of recent cases of unruly behavior by some passengers including politicians. A recent case involved Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who thrashed a 60-year-old Air India staffer with his sandals. Gaikwad was banned by airline companies, but the ban was lifted later due to political pressure.