A video surfaced the social media in which Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur was seen engaging in a scuffle with other passengers on-board over-allotment of seat on a Delhi-Bhopal SpiceJet flight.
Thakur alleged that she was not allotted the seat that she had booked and the crew ill-treated her. Thakur refused to change her seat causing a delay in the flight heading towards Bhopal.Due to the 45 minutes delay and inconvenience caused, the situation left the passengers enraged and restless.
The passengers asked the crew to take a call over the delay. As the argument escalated, Thakur said, "I said it at the beginning itself — show me your rulebook — If I don't feel comfortable, I will go." She further added, "Why would I be going if there is "no first class, no facilities" He further said it's not her right to sit in first class, to which, the BJP MP said, "It is my right".
You are the people's representative. Your job is to not trouble us. - Passenger to BJP MP Pragya Thakur
The man further argued, "You should have that moral compass that even if one person is getting troubled because of you, you should own up because you are the leader. You are not ashamed that you have held 50 people at ransom."
Watch the video here:
This wins the Internet:pic.twitter.com/4KFpDpbJYM
— santhoshd (@santhoshd) December 22, 2019
Why wasn't Thakur allowed to sit on the pre-allotted seat?
In its clarification, the airline said that Thakur was not allowed to sit on the pre-allotted seat as it was in the first row -- the emergency row — where seats are not allocated to passengers on wheelchairs. The airline said that its staff was not aware that she was a wheelchair passenger as she had not booked the wheelchair through the airline and had come on her own wheelchair.
SpiceJet was at the receiving end of Thakur's ire on Saturday evening as she created a scene and registered protest over being ill-treated by the airline's staff at the local airport after her flight from Delhi.
She lodged a complaint to the Raja Bhoj Airport director against the private carrier after alighting from flight SG 2489 from Delhi. Sources said that after reaching Bhopal airport, Pragya did not alight and stayed put on her seat on the plane for some time after the flight landed. After requests she finally got down and lodged the complaint, they said.
According to IANS, SpiceJet issued a statement, "SpiceJet had the privilege to have Pragya Thakur on board SpiceJet flight SG 2498 (Delhi-Bhopal) on December 21. She had pre-booked seat 1A and had come to the airport in her own wheelchair. The Delhi-Bhopal flight is operated by Bombardier Q400 aircraft (78 seater)."
On this aircraft, the first row is the emergency row seat and is not allocated to passengers on wheelchairs. As the Thakur had come with her own wheelchair and had not booked through the airline, the staff wasn't aware of this fact that she was a wheelchair passenger - SpiceJet spokesperson said.
It further said that she was requested by the crew to shift to "2 A/B (non-emergency row)" due to safety reasons but she refused. The duty manager and other staff also requested her to move to another seat, while she asked for the safety instruction document wherein the exit door policy is mentioned and the same was shown to her to provide clarity.
"As the flight was getting delayed other passengers were becoming restless and requested Thakur to change her seat but she refused. Other passengers also requested the airline staff to offload Thakur as she refused to change her seat.
"Finally, Pragya Thakur agreed to change her seat from 1A to 2B and the flight departed. We regret for the inconvenience caused. However, the safety of our passengers is paramount at SpiceJet," the spokesperson added.