Arguing over the hot food on an IndiGo trip from Istanbul to Delhi

NEW DELHI: Tempers ran high on a recent Istanbul-Delhi IndiGo flight when a group of passengers and the cabin crew had an argument over meals available onboard. Videos of the heated conversation on 6E-12 of December 16 suggest that one passenger first spoke to an airhostess (perhaps the one serving meals as pre-booked or purchased on the flight) in a manner that left the cabin crew member in tears. Then her senior intervened. The passenger and this senior crew member got into a heated argument, with the latter saying she wasn’t his “servant.” The DGCA has launched a probe into this case. To be sure whatever the reason, fighting with crew — who are there for passenger safety — is an absolute no and passengers can raise their grievance with the airline on arrival.It is learnt that this group of four passengers had booked their tickets on full service Turkish Airlines which has a code share with budget IndiGo on flights between Istanbul and Delhi and Mumbai. “They had pre-ordered meals but wanted hot meal on the flight. While the difference in expectations when booking on a full service airline and then flying a budget airline that does not have ovens on board (to heat meals) is understandable, getting into an argument with the crew is not acceptable. The crew only serves what the airline makes available on board as per its menu. Passengers could have filed a complain on arrival, but arguing with crew — who are responsible for your safety in case, God forbid, something goes wrong — is just not the right thing to do,” say people in the know.Video of the argument shows the senior crew member telling the passenger that pre-counted meals are uploaded on flights: “(Stop) pointing finger at me. My crew member is crying because of you. Please try to understand pre-counted meals are uploaded.” The crew member and the passenger then accuse each other of yelling. A slanging battle ensues after this, with the guy telling her to “shut up” and the crew members replying in like. She is seen telling a passenger, “I am sorry but you cannot talk to the crew like that. I am peacefully listening to you with all due respect but you have to respect the crew as well.” The man responds, “Where have I disrespected the crew?” and then says, “you are (a) servant.” She then explains that she is an employee (of IndiGo) and not his “servant.” The problem stemmed from the dining preferences of certain codeshare passengers. IndiGo understands the importance of listening to its passengers and making every effort to give them with a pleasant and trouble-free journey. We are investigating the matter and want to reassure you that the safety and satisfaction of our clients has always been our top concern. IndiGo has codeshares with several international full-service airlines, like Qatar Airways and Turkish, and we are dedicated to offering the finest service possible at all times. IndiGo operates the low-cost flights connecting India with the Doha and Istanbul headquarters of these airlines. IndiGo is expanding its worldwide network via code sharing with full-service airlines, and industry sources believe it is becoming more important for the airline to manage customer expectations as a result. Some passengers may not be aware that even if they have booked a flight on a premium carrier, they may end up on an IndiGo flight at some point during their journey. IndiGo’s longest flight takes place on the Istanbul–Delhi/Mumbai route and lasts more than five hours. The almost 300 planes in the airline’s fleet right now do not have ovens. Since the IndiGo Airbus A321 XLRs that will be added to the fleet in the middle of 2024 will be used for trips longer than 6 hours, amenities like microwaves, in-seat chargers, and even a business class are probable.

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