Deepa Malik, who scripted history last month by becoming India’s first-ever woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games, has alleged “poor handling” of wheelchair-bound passengers by Vistara Airlines and also slammed it over its “rude and ill mannered crew”.
A miffed Deepa, who was travelling from Mumbai to Delhi via Vistara flight UK 902, took to Twitter to express her displeasure.
“Very poor handling of wheelchair passenger in De boarding and fragile items. Rude n ill mannered crew. Sad experience. @airvistara (sic),” said Deepa in a series of tweets.
She claimed that she had endured the bad experience while informing her mother on the phone that the flight scheduled to depart at 3:35 pm from the Mumbai Airport was delayed.
The 46-year-old, who was confined to a wheelchair in 1999 owing to a spinal tumour, also criticised the airlines for the “lack of training” given to crew members as far as handling wheel-chair bound passengers is concerned.
“Very sad to note lack of training of crew Flight UK902,” she said while lodging a formal complaint against Vistara Airlines, which is a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines.
However, the airlines swiftly responded to the complaint and immediately tendered apology for her disappointing experience.
The apology letter read, “Ms Deepa Malik, the Paralympic silver medallist is a national hero and like every countrymen, we are immensely proud of her achievements. We regret that we failed to deliver the standard of service that Vistara pride itself on in this instance. As a team we would like to sincerely apologise to Deepa for her disappointing experience. We are investigating the incident and will take corrective actions to ensure something like this never occurs again.”
Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategy & commercial officer, Vistara also took to Twitter to issue an apology and promised an investigation into the matter.
Later, she admitted: “Yes, @airvistara was quick to respond and take prompt measures for future… They visited and resolved and also adding efforts to rectify.”
Deepa had gone to Mumbai to attend a programme with Sachin Tendulkar and Hrithik Roshan on Tuesday. She achieved the feat by winning silver in the women’s shot put F53 event at the Paralympics in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro last month.