Airlines cannot refuse to fly differently abled individuals, says DGCA after IndiGo row

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After a serious row after IndiGo refused to board a baby with particular wants on its flight, the DGCA has modified its guidelines to make boarding and flying extra accessible for folks with disabilities.

The airline might not deny boarding to an individual due to a incapacity, the DGCA mentioned.

After a serious controversy after an airline refused to take a baby with particular wants on board, the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation has modified its guidelines to enhance the accessibility of boarding and flying for folks with disabilities.

“Airline shall not refuse carriage to any person on grounds of disability and/or reduced mobility. However, if an airline determines that the state of health of such a passenger may deteriorate during the flight, said passenger must be personally examined by a doctor – who, in his opinion, must state categorically the state of health and whether the passenger is fit to fly or not.” said the DGCA.

After obtaining the medical report, it is up to the airline to allow or deny boarding to the disabled passenger. However, in the event of a refusal, the airline must immediately inform the passenger in writing of its decision and also state the reasons for the refusal of boarding.

The new rule follows a massive row over the Indian airline IndiGo’s decision to disfellowship a child with disabilities from boarding a flight at Ranchi Airport in May of this year. The incident came to light after an eyewitness account of the incident went viral on social media.

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Later that month after investigating the matter, the The DGCA fined IndiGo Rs 5 lakh for failing to properly handle the case at Ranchi Airport. The committee conducting the investigation found in its report that Indigo employees’ handling of passengers was inappropriate, leading to certain violations of applicable regulations.

In a statement, the DGCA had said: “It was observed that the handling of the special child by Indigo ground staff was deficient and eventually aggravated the situation. A more considerate approach would have calmed nerves, reassured the child and avoided the extreme step that would have resulted in the passengers being denied boarding.”

“Special situations deserve extraordinary responses, but the airline staff failed to face the situation, in violation of the letter and spirit of the civil aviation requirements (regulations).”

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