Outrage over peeing passengers leaves a stain on Air India's reputation

© AFP - PUNIT PARANJPE

National regulators have come down heavily on Air India for not taking firmer action against inebriated passengers who urinated in the cabin on separate flights from France and the United States.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) deemed Air India’s response to the incidents, which took place on international flights to New Delhi in November and December, “lackadaisical” and “unprofessional”.

In two separate notices issued this month, the regulator said India's flagship carrier had failed to follow proper procedures for handling unruly passengers, which include reporting them to authorities and considering banning them from flying.

On 6 December, an Indian man on an Air India jet from Paris reportedly urinated on the seat and blanket of a fellow passenger while she was in the washroom, while another traveller on the same plane locked himself in the toilet for a smoke.

The cabin crew did not restrain the two drunken men, who were later allowed to walk away when their flight reached Delhi, according to a DGCA notice issued on Monday.

'Completely soaked in urine'

It came four days after the DGCA reprimanded Air India over an earlier incident in which a man travelling in business class allegedly urinated on an elderly female passenger onboard an Air India flight from New York on 26 November.

The shocking events came to light only after the woman wrote a letter of complaint to the head of the Tata Group, the vast conglomerate that owns Air India, in early January.

Flight attendants say they are also the victims of bad behaviour by passengers.


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