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Tv Anchor alleges threats for complaining about food on Delhi-Mumbai Spicejet flight

Two days after a television anchor and former model filed a police complaint against a flight attendant and two security officials of a budget airline for alleged mistreatment, he has again approached the police, claiming to have received threat calls for taking on the airline.

The complainant, Karan Ambardar, approached the police on Tuesday saying he and his wife Shilpa Aggarwal were “forcefully” made to wait on an aerobridge for more than an hour on March 1, after landing in the city from Delhi, by SpiceJet officials only because he had complained about the quality of food served to them.

According to the complaint filed at the Domestic Airport Police Station, Ambardar asked for a chicken sandwich, but was offered chicken tikka masala with rice. “I agreed, but the flight attendant returned saying it wasn’t available either. She offered chicken methi malai instead which I refused and insisted on a refund. At this point, a senior crew member intervened and ended up being aggressive with me,” the complaint said. “When I read the menu card, I realised the airline’s menu changed according to the date, and that they were offering me a dish prepared nearly 14 hours earlier. When I raised a stink, a senior crew member threatened me,” Ambardar said.

The matter was reported to the pilot, and when the flight landed in Mumbai, two security personnel allegedly ensured Ambardar and his wife couldn’t leave the aerobridge for nearly an hour, the complaint said. On Saturday, Ambardar approached the Amboli police saying he has been receiving calls late in the night, threatening him with dire consequences for complaining against the airline.

SpiceJet, meanwhile, said they were approached by a number of passengers from the same flight, who were willing to testify against Ambardar. “The passenger misbehaved with our crew and co-passengers on Flight SG 169, and also threatened to call the media. He wanted a chicken tikka masala meal which was not the menu, hence he was offered chicken methi malai. He started shouting, and this is when a senior crew member intervened but the passenger was not ready to listen,” the airline said in a statement. “The passenger used abusive language and threatened the crew member of physical harm and dire consequences. At this point, the crew informed the pilot, who in turn informed the security officials at the Mumbai airport. On arrival at Mumbai, the passenger started obstructing the flight operations and threatened to call the media,” the statement said.

Regarding allegations of the complainant being forced to wait on the aerobridge, the airline said, “The passenger was adamant and did not move out of the aerobridge despite polite requests from Spicejet officials, MIAL and CISF personnel. When all tantrums failed to delay the flight operations the passenger tried to influence his case by filing a frivolous FIR. Other co-passengers who were witness to the obnoxious behaviour of the said passenger have voluntarily offered their contact details to the airline. SpiceJet reiterates that the cabin crew was polite all along.”

One of the passengers, Tripty Guru, corroborated the airline’s version. “I was seated in front of you. It was painful to hear the way you were speaking to the airhostess and supervisor. Sir, it was you who was rude and mentioned about slapping the crew. My co-passenger gave his business card to the crew in case they needed help in testifying against you. You should have been more civilised. Ask for a refund, but this misbehavior was uncalled for,” Guru posted as a reply to Ambardar’s Facebook post about the incident.

However, another passenger -Panvel resident Mohit Gangan – reported that it was indeed the airline crew’s fault. “I was seated in 4E, right behind the angry passenger who was in seat 2D. I witnessed how a crew member made a face after she crossed 2D. The passenger was definitely not rude, and the way he and his wife were asked to come out of the plane upon landing was unacceptable. I even heard a male crew member telling a ground staff official to “not let the 2D guy leave. `Aaj iski aukat dikhani hai’, the crew member said,” according to Gangan.

Assistant Inspector S Gangawane from Airport Road Police Station said the cops were speaking to passengers on the flight to get a clear picture.


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