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IndiGo asks crew to be sensitive while dealing with unruly flyers

Arindam Majumdar and Aneesh Phadnis/New Delhi/Mumbai 15 May 18 | 02:57 AM

Congestion at major airports leading to flight delays is increasing tension resulting in number of unpleasant incidents involving airline staff and flyers.  Karuna Singh IndiGo’s fleet supervisor wrote to staffers saying that in situations like raised voice, aggressive body posture, display of dissatisfaction towards service and use of abusive words first action should be calming the situation by all means. Such behaviors according to IndiGo can rise due to delayed departure, unfulfilled service like unavailability of preferred seat or meal.

“These behaviors do not necessarily imply unruly behaviors. We as aviation personnel must be able to isolate actual unruly behaviors and take adequate actions as required," Singh wrote.

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Singh said that if a passenger changes his behaviors during the negotiation process and start complying with the requirements, the situation should be put to an end there itself. “In such a situation, we allow him to continue the journey," Singh wrote.

The big jump in number of fliers has meant that there are many first-timers on the passenger list, the new fliers are often intimidated or unaware of the airline process system. Other airlines have said that they are improving their staff training, looking at better ways of communication and customer awareness on operational matters. These steps are expected to help engage better with both new and seasoned flyers, minimise tension and create a favourable brand image.

Over 70 flights were diverted from IGI airport and several departures were affected after runway operations had to be shut down On Sunday due to a storm in Delhi.

An IndiGo Delhi-Bengaluru flight was stationed at the Delhi airport tarmac for more than 7 hours until early Monday morning due to non-availability of crew, with passengers kept waiting in the shuttle, and then inside the plane or sitting on the tarmac. 

Aviation consultancy firm CAPA said that with number of rising incidents, airlines are waking up to the need of educating the flyer. “Airport congestion leading to delays have become a frequent factor, consumer activism against airlines will increase and become a major issue," Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia of aviation consultancy firm CAPA said.

"We have rejigged our soft skills training and trying to sensitize our staff to the fact that there are many first time flyers who do not know the rules and that they need to patient while attending to them," SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh had earlier said.

Air Asia India is working on an etiquette video instructing them on things such as when to arrive at the airport, how to clear security and when to stand up inside the plane. “The video which is still in production, will try to make sure people see it before the flight through the social media channels or website..

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