NEW DELHI: Following a complaint by Pragya Thakur that she was denied her booked seat in a Delhi-Bhopal flight, SpiceJet clarified that the BJP MP was not allowed to sit on the pre-allotted seat as rules bar a passenger on a wheelchair from seating in an emergency row due to safety reasons.
“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. On this aircraft, the first row is the emergency row seat and is not allocated to passengers on the wheelchairs,” the statement by SpiceJet read.
The airline has said that as the MP had not booked through the airline, the staff wasn’t aware of this fact that she was a wheelchair passenger.
“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. She asked for safety instruction document wherein the exit door policy is mentioned and the same was shown to her to provide clarity,” it said.
SpiceJet said as other passengers were becoming restless, Thakur was requested to change her seat but she refused.
“Finally, Hon’ble 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,” said the statement.
Thakur had on Saturday filed a complaint with the Bhopal Airport Director alleging that she was not allotted the seat that she had booked in the SpiceJet flight and the conduct of the airline crew with her was not right.
“I informed the authorities that the SpiceJet crew had misbehaved with me. This had happened once before as well and this time I was not even given the seat which was booked by me,” the BJP MP was quoted as saying by a news agency.