American Airlines offloads cancer patient for failure to follow instructions

Art Konovalov /

A female cancer patient flying from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was offloaded by American Airlines after allegedly becoming “disruptive”. 

Meenakshi Sengupta, who is based in the United States, was on vacation in India when she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery. Sengupta planned to continue medical treatment in the United States, according to India’s Economic Times

Sengupta was allegedly offloaded for not complying with the cabin crew’s instructions to keep her handbag in the overhead cabin. 

Sengupta, however, claimed that the cabin crew refused to assist her in lifting the handbag, despite her wearing a post-surgery cast. 

 “They were largely indifferent and didn’t want to interfere at all. They just kept asking me that I should be able to lift my own bags and manage everything. It’s not their job to help passengers (even with special needs or health issues). They said that if I’m so uncomfortable I should just deboard the flight. They were collective in their decision to deboard me,” Sengupta alleged, as told to The Times of India. 

In an emailed statement to AeroTime, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed the following:

“On January 30, 2023, prior to the departure of American Airlines flight 293 from Delhi (DEL) to New York (JFK), a disruptive customer was removed from the aircraft for failure to follow crew member instructions. Our Customer Relations team has reached out to the customer to refund the unused portion of their ticket.”

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