Air India

Pee-gate: Man who urinated on a passenger in Business Class on an Air India flight is finally arrested

The incident happened on an Air India Flight November 26 between New York – New Delhi. The drunk passenger; Shankar Mishra, unzipped his trousers and urinated on an elderly woman in business class.

Through his lawyers, Shankar Mishra claimed that the elderly woman “condoned” the act and also said she has been compensated and her clothes has been dry cleaned. Later on he begged the woman to not report him, saying it would impact his wife and child.
According to the woman’s daughter, the money has been returned, saying they couldn’t accept it.

Maybe the most disturbing thing in the whole story is that the crew did not call law inforcement upon landing. Instead Air India just banned Shankar Mishra from flying for 30 days, which triggered an outrage on social media, where many people said it was not enough.

Shankar Mishra worked for Wells Fargo, as Vice-President of the India chapter.

Statement from Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and we find these allegations deeply disturbing. This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo,” the company said in a statement last evening.

Statement from Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director, Air India

Air India is deeply concerned about the in flight instances where customers have suffered due to the condemnable acts of their co-passengers on our aircraft.

We regret and are pained about these experiences. Air India acknowledges that it could have handled these matters better, both in the air and on the ground and is committed to taking action.

In the instance of the incident onboard Al102 operating between New York and Delhi on 26 November 2022:
Four cabin crew and one pilot have been issued show cause notices and de-rostered pending investigation.

Internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing on aspects including the service of alcohol on flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board and grievance handling.

As a responsible airline brand, we have initiated the following steps with a view to materially strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future:

Commencing a comprehensive education program to strengthen crews’ awareness of and compliance with policies on the handling of incidents and unruly passengers, and to better equip crew to empathetically assist those affected.

Review of the airline policy on service of alcohol in flight.

Review the meeting frequency of the DCA-prescribed “Internal Committee”, tasked with assessing incidents, so that cases are assessed and decisions reached in a more timely manner.

To improve the robustness of its legacy incident reporting processes, which are presently paper-based and manual, Air India signed a Letter of Intent in December 2022 to acquire a license for the market-leading provider of incident management software, Coruson.

In addition to this state-of-the-art software, the airline is also in the process of deploying iPads to Pilots and Senior Cabin Crew. When used together, crew will be able to enter voyage and incident reports electronically, which will then be rapidly and automatically routed to relevant parties including, as required, the Regulator.

Air India also continues to provide support to the affected passengers and ensure their well-being. In this respect, Air India would like to highlight the ongoing assistance it has been providing the affected passenger.
Upon receipt of the complaint on 27 November, Air India:
– acknowledged receipt and commenced engaging in correspondence with the affected passenger’s family
– on 30 November; commenced a refund of the ticket on 2 December, with receipt of funds acknowledged by the victim’s family on 16 December;
– initiated the DCA-prescribed “Internal Committee”, tasked with assessing incidents and which comprises a retired judge, a representative from a passengers’ association, and a representative from another Indian commercial airline, on 10 December. The file was passed to the Committee on 20 December and a 30-day interim travel ban imposed on the same date;
– convened four meetings between senior Airline staff, the victim and her family on 20 December, 21

December, 26 December and 30 December 2022 to discuss actions being taken and the progress thereof.
When the victim’s family requested that Air India lodge a police report during the meeting on 26 December, it did so on 28 December 2022.

Air India and its staff will continue to provide full cooperation to the affected passenger, and regulators and law enforcement authorities as they investigate these cases. We are committed to providing a safe environment for customers and crew, as well as operating in full compliance with all laws and regulations

Directorate of General Civil Aviation said in a statement: ‘The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure.’

Image Shankar Mishra: Credit: LinkedIn via India Today Image  © Air India