The airline has sought appropriate action against Vora, a resident of Defence Colony, for “endangering flight safety.” The Delhi Police registered a case against Vohra based on AA’s complaint and detained him for some hours before releasing him Sunday afternoon. DCP (IGIA) Devesh Kumar Mahala says “strongest possible action” will be taken in this case.
The latest instance of this kind happened on flight AA-292 during its nearly 14.5-hour journey to Delhi Saturday. In its complaint to the police, the airline says Vohra “was heavily intoxicated; not adhering to crew instructions on board; repeatedly arguing with operating crew; not willing to be seated and continuously endangering safety of crew and aircraft. After disturbing safety of fellow passengers, finally urinated on a passenger seated on 15G.”
The airline was operating a Boeing 777-300 extended range (ER) on JFK-Delhi route on which 15G is a business class seat. It could not be ascertained if the accused was also in business or premium/regular economy.
When Vohra realised what had happened, he reportedly apologised to the male co-passenger and requested him not to file a complaint as that would damage his reputation and career. The victim, who had informed the crew, is learnt to have agreed to the student’s request.
However, the crew took a stern view of the matter and informed the pilot who, in turn, asked for security personnel to be present on arrival. Accordingly, CISF was present when the aircraft reached the terminal. The airline says Vohra “was in an intoxicated condition” at that time. He was subsequently handed over to the police. DCP Mahala said: “The co-passenger did not file any complaint in this regard, but the airlines gave a written complaint, in which they claimed that the passenger did not behave properly, created a nuisance, and urinated on the fellow passenger. A case has been registered in the matter. We will do our best.”
“The accused has been released… Vohra told us that he went to the washroom, but the door was locked. We are verifying his testimony,” the DCP added. Cops will also seek details from eyewitnesses and crew members in the case.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is monitoring this case. “We have sought and got a report from the concerned airline.
They seem to have handled the situation professionally and have taken all appropriate action,” said a senior DGCA official.
The flight had taken off from New York at 9.16 pm on Friday (March 3) and landed in Delhi at 10.12 pm Saturday (all timings local). “We got a PCR call about the incident around 11.30 pm on Saturday. A team reached the spot, and the suspect was handed over to us,” the DCP said.
In a statement, the airline said: “American Airlines flight 292 with service from John F Kennedy International Airport to Indira Gandhi International Airport was met by local law enforcement upon arrival in Delhi due to a disruptive customer. The flight landed safely at 9.50 pm. We’re grateful to our crew members who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and handled the circumstances with the utmost professionalism.”
Last November and December had seen a similar incident each on Air India’s flights headed to India. However, AI had not reported the matter to agencies due to which came under regulatory fire and was fined heavily. Recently AI MD-CEO Campbell Wilson said the airline is reporting all such cases to law-enforcing agencies.
Arun Kumar, who retired as DGCA’s no-nonsense chief on February 28, 2023, had asked airlines to report all unruly incident to the agencies. The DGCA had fined AI for not reporting the two incidents in time.
Watch American Airlines handed over flyer, who urinated on co-passenger mid-air, to us: Delhi airport DCP Mahla