Octogenarian with Parkinson's disease waits 3 hours for wheelchair after arriving at Delhi airport

Alliance Air said the incident is being investigated.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.(Photo | EPS)

MUMBAI: An 84-year-old Parkinson's disease-affected woman had to wait for over three hours for a wheelchair at the tarmac of Delhi airport after her arrival from Jaipur on an Alliance Air flight on Sunday, an incident which the airline said is being investigated.

The government-owned airline also said it is in touch with family members of the woman passenger, who was travelling with her son, and has already "apologised" to her for the incident.

Separately, Alliance Air is taking up the matter with AI-SATS, who is also the ground handling services operator for Air India at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

"There was some mess up...We are looking at the incident from several angles. Besides, we are taking up the matter with the ground handling agency AI-SATS, which was supposed to provide wheelchair to the passenger," Alliance Air Assistant General Manager for customer care services, Manohar Tufchi told PTI.

Tufchi said he has spoken over phone to her son and has already "apologised" for the incident and that they were "in touch with the customer."

According to a post on microblogging site X, after the flight landed at Delhi airport at 9.22 pm and came to the parking bay, the woman passenger asked for a wheelchair to board the coach and the aircraft staff told her that it was being brought.

"However, within 15-20 minutes all the passengers got deplaned and she still kept waiting for it. When the aircraft air-conditioning system was also switched off and the cabin became hot, her son brought her down from the plane somehow. But by this time, both the aircraft staff and passengers' coach had left from the runway,' the post said.

"Her son also sought the help of the ground staff to get the wheelchair for his mother, who was stranded at the tarmac but even they could not help him. He found her mother's wheelchair near the cargo door of the aircraft and finally made her sit on it."

The post has been tagged to Minister for Civil Aviation K Rammohan Naidu, PMO and Airports Authority of India as well.

The post further said that incidentally a car carrying the pilot and co-pilot of the same flight happened to come there for some work and after much pleading they agreed to take her in their car to the arrival terminal.

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The New Indian Express