x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pilot puts his mother in cockpit after she is refused a free ticket

The pilot of an Air India passenger plane seated his mother in the cockpit for a domestic flight and refused to take off without her after he could not get her a free ticket.

NEW DELHI // The pilot of an Air India passenger plane seated his mother in the cockpit for a domestic flight and refused to take off without her after he could not get her a free ticket.

The pilot allegedly demanded that his mother be issued a "dummy boarding card" at Pune airport in western India and placed her in a seat reserved for the crew on the two-hour flight to New Delhi.

"When the pilot insisted on taking his mother on board, the operations and commercial departments were informed," an airport official said. The pilot reportedly said his mother was sick and he could not leave her at the airport.

"The [general manager] ... investigated the matter after it was brought to my notice," Air India chairman Rohit Nandan said.

He added that disciplinary action was being taken. The duty manager's report recorded that the fully-booked flight, with 122 passengers on board, was delayed for 20 minutes.