IndiGo is the latest airline to get in the public eye for the harsh treatment of passengers. The airline’s CEO apologized after a video, showing IndiGo ground staff pinning a customer to the ground by the throat, escalated on social media and local television news, causing public outrage and governmental investigation.

The video, released on November 6, 2017, shows what appears to be a conflict between IndiGo ground staff and a passenger identified by the airline as Rajiv Katiyal. Katiyal is portrayed shouting and attempting to fight the ground staff prior to being pinned down to ground and held by the throat by several employees.

 

According to Times of India, the argument took place on October 15, 2017, after an IndiGo flight from Chennai to Delhi. The federal government launched an investigation, asking IndiGo to submit a report on the incident, while the airline took to Twitter to issue two public apologies, claiming the incident stands against the company values and the employee, who was found to be ‘the culprit’ of the situation was fired.

 “We truly apologise for the treatment shown towards Mr. Rajeev Katiyal by one of our employees,” the company tweeted. “At IndiGo, dignity of our passengers and staff is of utmost importance. Any act that compromises the dignity of either is of a serious concern to us. Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated and stern action was taken against the staff”.

Earlier, on November 7, 2017 the airline also released a statement by Aditya Ghosh, IndiGo President, claiming that:

“Treating our customers with respect is core to what we do. Every day we take tens of thousands of happy customers to where they need to get to. It is for this reason that customers choose Indigo more number of times than any other airline in the country. An incident happened in Delhi airport which is entirely opposite of this and against what we stand for at IndiGo. The video of this incident came to our attention and we took action. Even while the investigation was going on we immediately suspended the involved employees. I personally spoke to the customer and apologized to him the very same day. Whatever may have been the provocation, our staff were completely out of line and didn’t follow laid down procedures. I acknowledge the unpleasant experience our passenger went through, while engaging with our staff. Once again, my personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture and what we stand for. At IndiGo, dignity of either is of a serious concern to us. Under the code of conduct violation, the incident was investigated by the designated committee and stern action was taken against the staff who was the main culprit by immediately terminating his employment. He was the one found instigating and aggravating the situation. He is the exact opposite of what IndiGo’s customer service aims to be. Once again my personal and sincere apologies to the affected passenger.”

However, there is an unconfirmed media report which points out that the fired employee is not one of the ground staff seen in the video, but, instead, the person who filmed the incident.