Could Air India be the start of a trend?
Poorly behaved passengers may have to start (literally) paying for their actions.
Air India announced this week that it will start fining unruly passengers who delay flights when they refuse to comply with protocol or act out.
If a passenger’s bad behavior delays an Air India flight up to one hour, the airline will charge that passenger about $7,750 (5 lakh in rupees). For delays between one and two hours, the passenger will be charged $15,500 (10 lakh rupees) and for any delay lasting longer than two hours, Air India will charge $23,260 (15 lakh rupees).
The fines are not based off of any damages or loss in revenue incurred by the airline, rather they represent “a symbolic amount,” to unruly passengers, according to a report by the Times of India.
Air India introduced the charges after several incidents involving members of parliament. Last month, two politicians delayed Air India flights with their uncooperative behavior. One MP took a pair of sandals and beat a 60-year-old staffer who refused to upgrade the politician’s flight.
And another delayed a flight when her mother, who used a wheelchair, refused to leave the emergency exit row.
The airline will also implement a “stricter framework” that will empower employees to deal with unruly passengers more autonomously.
In January, Air India was named the third-worst airline in the world for its on-time performance. At the time, a spokesperson for the airline told The Economic Times that low on-time performance is the symptom of a disease “which we have identified.” He promised that once the “disease” was treated, on-time performance would improve.