NEW DELHI: The Air India on Monday admitted that there was a delay in providing a wheelchair to Anita Ghai, the disabled passenger, while de-boarding from the flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
Ashwini Lohani (CMD, Air India), however, said that if Ghai had waited a little more, the wheelchair would have been provided.
“This case is a sad case. There has been failure to the extent that it should have been mentioned in the ticket so that passenger handling gets advance information that there is a wheel-chaired person who needs a wheelchair at the ramp. This did not happen. Had she waited a bit, we would have provided her a wheelchair,” he told ANI.
“I have written to the lady and we have regretted for the incident. We are also sad about this incident,” he added.
Earlier, the airlines has issued a statement rebuffing the allegations and said that the wheel-chair had been provided to the passenger.
"Since the flight was parked at a distant bay it took some time to bring the wheel chair. Since passengers were getting down from the aircraft, our support staff actively helped the passenger to come out of the aircraft ensuring any inconvenience and the wheelchair was provided at aircraft doorstep," an Air India statement had said.
Ghai has said that the airlines was 'blatantly lying' and asserted that she is contemplating legal action.
"I complained for a reason and not they are denying what happened. They are blatant liars. It was a case of complete negligence and I was traumatised. They should just acknowledge their mistake. If they don't I will ensure they don't do this again to disable people, just because we are vulnerable," Ghai had said.
She was made to wait for more than 30 minutes for a wheel chair which never came and that she had to crawl out of the aircraft waiting for the coach to arrive with the chair.
According to Ghai, she was finally provided with a wheel chair at the arrival hall and not at the bay.
Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Delhi University, took the Alliance Air (Air India's regional arm) flight from Dehradun on Friday, with four of her colleagues.