A Case of Privilege?

You may have already read about the denied boarding incident on Jetlite of wheelchair-user Rajiv Rajan. As the story goes, Rajiv was scheduled to fly from Chennai to Delhi to attend a meeting of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities, when airline officials denied him boarding because he did not have a ?fitness to fly? certificate. Rajiv was stranded and ended up spending hours at the airport.

Subsequently, because of his position and high profile, Jetlite publicly apologized to Rajiv. And that?s a very good thing.

But here?s the deal. I believe this incident would have gone relatively unnoticed if the passenger was say, just a low profile cook from Delhi. And the bigger point ? sometimes disabled passengers are denied boarding in third world countries or required to have ?fitness to fly? certificates in order to board the aircraft.

I?m glad Rajiv got a public apology, but it doesn?t signal a change in policy for this airline. Or any other airline in the region, for that matter.

So again, flyers beware!