BENGALURU: A flyer from Bengaluru to New Delhi on board an Air Vistara flight on Friday evening has expressed his displeasure over the racism and humiliation he suffered at the hands of an American co-passenger. “Facing racism within India is a first for me,” he said and charges Vistara crew of complete inaction over his complaints even before the flight started at 6.40 pm.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Divyendu Shekhar, a Delhi-based financial professional and a frequent flyer said, “It is a very unfortunate incident. Vistara could have taken action against the individual right at the beginning of our trip when I repeatedly alerted them about his abusive behaviour. I knew nothing could be done after the flight is midway and so sought help. But the staff were only bothered about flyers being seated and other arrangements.”
"The American kept abusing an autistic child seated on the left side during our trip as he was speaking constantly," he added.
In a series of tweets, 38-year-old Shekhar stated the issue began right at the aerobridge when flyers were queuing up to enter the flight. “An American gentleman (don’t know his name) but around 28-29 years old in black Ts and black shorts was trying to jump the queue. We stopped him and asked him to come in a queue. He was pissed,” he tweeted.
When taking his seat numbered 16E (middle) on the flight, Shekhar noticed the American was on 16D (aisle seat). “He had a huge rucksack with him which the staff told him to put on the stow cabin but insisted he wants to keep it on the seat…somewhere he started to push his bag aggressively in front and it hurt my leg.”
When told politely to avoid it, the individual retorted, “I have paid for this portion of this seat and you have paid for the middle. So I am entitled to do whatever on this side you fat piece of s**t.”
Shekhar said he did not respond and brought down the armrest and laid back. And then he said, “Hey, u Indian Pu**y. I am gonna make this brown skin of yours black by a punch.” The abuses continued, tweeted Shekhar.
The flyer says he called the flight attendant repeatedly and requested a seat change. The American furiously responded, “You Indians always whine. You guys are a load of s**t.” An individual seated on seat 16C volunteered to exchange his seat but the abuser refused to get up and give way, Shekhar said. “I asked Air Vistara if they can arrange for security because I don’t feel good flying with this person and either me or he can be deplaned. There was complete silence,” he added.
The flight took off and throughout the flight, he told me “I was a pu**y and not a man to fight off. Facing racism in India is a first for me. The US national just took off without a word after the flight reached Delhi, he added.
When asked for its reaction, Vistara responded, the airline has responded to the passenger stating it was investigating into the incident.