In a shocking incident, a wheelchair-ridden Indian man named William Fernandes seeking to travel from Mumbai to Mangalore on an Air India ticket was not allowed to board the flight on Monday morning because it was 'overbooked'. 49-year-old William Fernandes had boarded an emergency flight from Israel to Mumbai and then a connecting flight from Mumbai to Mangalore to visit a hospital to seek treatment for his spinal cord injury. However, even after continuous requests made by Arun Fernandes, who was the co-passenger with William, for emergency travel arrangements, the Air India staff provided only saw fit to provide them with accommodation for the wait.
After spending one night at the hotel, the two passengers were heading back to the airport for their flight to Mangalore, however, William Fernandes passed away in transit. The family of the deceased has filed an FIR against the negligence and ignorance of Air India in the matter.
A copy of the FIR has been accessed, which is addressed to the Sub-Inspector at the Mumbai Airport, complaining the death of Mr Willim Fernandes due to negligency by Air India. In the FIR, the brother-in-law of the deceased has said that William Fernandes was sick and had come back from Israel to India in an emergency state to have spinal surgery in a hospital in Mangalore. The FIR further reads that he had a connecting Air India flight from Mumbai, where he reached on July 8 at 8:30 am.
However, he was made to wait at the Mumbai airport where he was accompanied by his colleague from Israel Arun Fernandes who was supposed to take him to the Mangalore Hospital. Even after pleading with Air India staff at Mumbai to make arrangements as early as possible, the airline staff took his words casually. They arranged for accommodation instead of arranging an emergency flight ticket and William Fernandes had to spend the rest of the afternoon and night at the hotel instead of spending the night at the hospital. The next morning Arun Fernandes was taking William to the airport from the hotel. However, William collapsed from the wheelchair and had breathed his last.
In the FIR, the family has urged the police to look into the matter and take appropriate action on Air India.