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Flying shoe-whacker heads bizarre travel goings-on

March 30, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The action of an Indian politician, who thrashed an airline employee with his shoe when denied a business-class seat (on an all-economy-class flight) heads a list of odd travel-related happenings in the subcontinent – including a client said to have died of shock when duped by a tour operator.

Indian MP Ravindra Gaikwad stands accused of whacking an airline employee more than 20 times with his shoe or slipper (accounts vary) after not receiving a business class seat on an Air India flight – in an aircraft configured all-economy.

After refusing to leave the plane on landing in New Delhi, a furious Gaikwad repeatedly struck a 60-year-old shift manager who had been sent to calm him down.

Hubbub surrounding the disgraceful incident was captured on video.

Indian airlines have had more than enough air rage and misbehaviour. Air India cancelled Gaikwad’s return ticket and filed a criminal complaint with police. Five other Indian airlines banned Gaikwad as well, forcing him to return to Mumbai by train. Indian carriers are working to establish a no-fly list to keep habitually unruly passengers off flights.

An earlier, unconnected incident of bad behaviour involved a drunken 23-year-old hardware trader, accused of grabbing two female flight attendants on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Nagpur.

Traditional Indian Khussa Shoes

The trader, identified as Akash Gupta, has been charged with outraging public modesty in contravention of the Indian Penal Code. Police said he had “probably consumed liquor in Mumbai airport”. His action seems mainly to have consisted of grabbing the hands of the two attendants when they were serving him a meal.

Indian media has also reported a case of a traveller who apparently died of shock when duped by a tour operator.

The victim, a 46-year-old man going on a religious pilgrimage, allegedly dropped dead after a private tour operator ripped him off to the tune of INR 235,000 (AUD 4738). The brother of the deceased has approached the city police chief with a complaint against the tour operator in Aurangabad.

Written by Peter Needham

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