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Trinamool legislator creates ruckus on Air India flight after mother asked to switch seats

TMC legislator Dola Sen delayed the Air India flight by over 30 minutes after refusing to abide by security protocols. Photograph: (ANI)

WION New Delhi, India Apr 07, 2017, 02.10 PM (IST)

Trinamool Congress legislator Dola Sen is in the centre of a row for allegedly fighting with Air India crew after her wheelchair-bound mother was asked to shift from her seat near the emergency-exit.

Dola Sen, MP (Member of Parliament) from the Rajya Sabha, allegedly "screamed and shouted" at crew members, causing a  nearly 40-minute delay in the flight. 

Air India said that when Dola Sen boarded the plane, she was told by the cabin crew that rules do not permit wheelchair-bound passengers to sit on emergency exit seats.

The airline said the MP didn't mention that she was being accompanied by a wheelchair-bound passenger at the time of
booking tickets, PTI reported.

The plane, which was to take off at 2.25 pm, could only depart at 3.04 pm -- a delay of nearly 40 minutes.

It landed in Kolkata at 4.35 pm.

Air India also alleged that on landing in Kolkata, the MP asked officials of the local airport to get a written statement from all passengers saying she did not delay the flight.

The MP had booked three front row seats for herself, her mother and one more person through online travel portal
makemytrip.Com and had paid extra for those seats, Air India said.

The DGCA rules allow airlines to charge additional fee for a seat of a passenger's choice, which include front row seats with extra leg room as well as aisle and window seats.

"But due to non-availability of the seats of her choice she was booked on emergency exit seats, which also have similar leg room," said the official.

Following this, the TMC MP "shouted and screamed" at the cabin crew, the airline claimed.

This forced the pilot to come out of the cockpit, who offered business class seats to the MP's mother but Sen declined,
according to the airline.

Sen did not respond to calls or SMSes.

The airline said that it has initiated a probe into the incident.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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