An elderly couple travelling from Kolkata to Delhi onboard Jet Airways 9W-964 on September 6 fretted, shouted and then finally gave up as they settled onto their seats convinced that nobody will come to their rescue. As I was travelling on board the same flight, I went up to them and asked what transpired while boarding the flight.
Mr. MC Nath who, along with his wife who suffers from a paralytic condition, is a frequent traveller, was highly disappointed with the kind of behaviour meted out to them by Jet Airways staff members. The elderly couple, owing to the medical condition, had requested for wheelchair assistance and also to be boarded first. The Jet Airways staff readily agreed but it’s the execution of assistance that had upset the couple so much that the couple almost choked while controlling their tears and narrating the ordeal to me.
‘My wife is paralysed for 20 years now. We wanted to be boarded first as we have to keep our bags with medicines and other necessary items nearby. Sometimes the compartment above the seats get filled up immediately and one has to keep the bags far away in other compartments overhead. This is what happened with us. Firstly the assistant assigned to us arrived late without any valid reason then we didn’t find a nearby compartment to keep our bags and then I had to shout to make them understand that treat us with respect. I will never travel via Jet Airways ever,’ narrated Mr. MC Nath.
MC Nath lost his cool when he finally was made to board after everyone and then had to shout to bring some sense in the staff members. He battled tears as he settled with angst.
Alarmed by my inquiry and the recording of passengers' statement, the Jet Airways staff members immediately came to them and tendered an apology. The elderly couple were heard saying to the staff members that this kind of harassment is unacceptable, especially when a request was made previously.
‘I do not seek an apology but what I seek is respect. This is not a singular incident with Jet Airways. We have never been pitied upon for our medical condition. This is sheer apathy’, Mr. MC Nath added further.
The elderly couple were harassed, pitied upon and then, when faced with potential damage control, a mere apology was tendered.