The accused is learnt to be a student in an American university. “He was inebriated and urinated while he was asleep. It somehow leaked and fell on a fellow passenger who complained to the crew,” an agency report said quoting an airport source. When he replied what had happened, the student apologised to the male co-passenger and requested him not to file a complaint as that would damage his reputation and career. The victim is learnt to have agreed to the student’s request.
The pilot, however, reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) who, in turn, alerted security agencies. The student was met by CISF on arrival and then handed over to Delhi Police who recorded statements of all concerned.
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 9.50pm. 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 Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) 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.
The DGCA 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 official.