NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India has commenced an internal probe on the incident of an inebriated passenger on a New York-Delhi flight urinating on the seat of an elderly woman two days ago.
Airline sources said a probe has commenced on the basis of an initial report submitted to the authorities.
"A detailed internal investigation is now on to ascertain if the crew followed the assigned SOPs (standard operating procedures) and whether they reported the matter when the aircraft landed back in Delhi, among other things."
The airline's In-Flight Services division has been tasked to carry out the investigation.
"There is anger among the public over the fact that such an incident did occur and that the inebriated person was allowed to walk out of the airport. He should have been apprehended on arrival in New Delhi. Even a complaint to Air India's security team would have resulted in some action," a source said.
"Lapses, if any, on part of the crew are being looked into."
Another airline source noted that economy class passengers have a limited quota of alcohol and the crew can refuse to serve more to any passenger found in an inebriated state.
"Saying that the crew went on to serve drunk passengers more alcohol is incorrect," the source said.
The airline on Saturday tweeted that the details of the incident were being sent to appropriate authorities for probe and possibly placing the passenger on the no-fly list.
Currently, safety laws on passengers' disruptive behaviour on-board aircraft mandate a ban on guilty passengers, restraining them from using domestic airlines.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha has asked the flag carrier to follow up on the matter on an urgent basis.
The incident took place on August 30 and was brought to the Minister's notice by Indrani Ghosh, the daughter of the affected elderly woman.
Ghosh tweeted on Friday that her mother had to face extreme shock and trauma after a drunk passenger fumbled across to her seat, removed his pants and urinated on her seat.
Tagging Ministers Suresh Prabhu and Sushma Swaraj, and Air India, Gosh urged the authorities to look into the matter urgently.