Cockroaches, flies found in IndiGo’s food trays; fliers shocked

| Updated: 23 February, 2024 5:33 pm IST

NEW DELHI: IndiGo Airlines, that was fined Rs 1.2 crore just last month for asking passengers to eat food on a tarmac amid a delay in their flight departure, has courted a fresh controversy after several passengers filmed insects and flies crawling near food trays and corners in the plane.

The video shot by the passengers shows several cockroaches moving around in the galley where deposits of insect’s faeces are also visible next to jumpseats, often used by the airline crew.

IndiGo, brazenly admitted to the lapses but offered no apology to its passengers or decision to refund the money used by passengers to buy food in such unhygienic conditions.

A screengrab from the Civil aviation ministry shows IndiGo Airlines faring poorly already in January 2024 in terms of passenger traffic as compared to Vistara, Spicejet & Akasa Airlines. IndiGo is placed fourth in the list. IndiGo also is the second in terms of cancellations.

The disturbing incident, caught on passengers’ mobile phones, was shared with The New Indian by a flier.

 

Among the four big players in the aviation industry, IndiGo clocked the lowest passenger load factor (88.4 %), behind Vistara Airlines (94.2%), SpiceJet (93.7%) and Akasa Air(92.4%) in January this year, showing the fliers are rejecting the company that was once started with a big-bang operation by Indian-American businessman Rakesh Gangwal.

“IndiGo is a repeat offender  that has often courted controversies for manhandling passengers, sometimes for breaking queues or even as genuine mistake as reaching boarding gate a minute late even if the security clearance has been done. Their model is based on fleece and fine people by misleading passengers on low fares,” said Aakash, a multimedia programmer at Infosys, who has now switched from IndiGo to Vistara Airlines.

Ugly tales of horror have originated from more passengers who spoke to The New Indian.

“My grand-father was on the flight Istanbul to Delhi in 2022 when a crew shouted at an old man. The entire incident was caught on camera. Even when the man countered the female crew asking why she was yelling for just asking more food options he had paid for, she screamed and howled at him,” said Manukriti, who teaches fashion technology in Kolkata.

As recent as two months ago, in December 2023, a distressed activist, Virali Modi , a wheelchair patient since 2006, had to write on social media to share her anxiety, mistreatment and helplessness when she said how IndiGo staff forgot about her presence in the flight  6E-864 when it landed in Mumbai that she had to crawl to alert the system.

 

IndiGo, which has routinely courted controversies for indisciplined ground staff, manhandling of passengers, charging passengers exorbitantly for water, on-board food and even seats, is under the radar of ministry of civil aviation, bureau of civil aviation security (BCAS) and DGCA.

IndiGo, that sells its tickets as a low-budget airline, has often been criticised for misleading passengers as most one-way tickets on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Jaipur sectors often cost more than Rs 8-9,000 during off seasons such as December-April.

Two days ago, an IndiGo flight which took off from Delhi, underwent massive turbulence as gusty winds swept through Srinagar. Passengers were seen howling and weeping as the flight attendants refuse to offer any help to passengers despite other Kashmir-bound flights being cancelled or delayed due to heavy rain and snowfall amid deteriorating weather conditions.

 

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