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Para swimmer forced to wait 90 mins for wheelchair at airport, Air India says 'delay is regretted'

Para swimmer Aalam said he had informed Air India's cabin crew that he wanted his own wheelchair after landing but was provided one that was "uncomfortable" and sized XL.

Poorva Joshi Edited by: Poorva Joshi @poorvajoshi1424 New Delhi Updated on: June 08, 2022 11:26 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Para swimmer forced to wait for 90 minutes to get wheelchair after getting off Air India flight

Highlights

  • Mohammed Shams Aalam Shaikh is an Indian Para swimmer.
  • He got off a 12-hour long flight from Melbourne to Delhi on Monday.
  • He had to wait 90 minutes before he got a wheelchair at the Delhi airport.

Indian Para Swimmer Mohammed Shams Aalam Shaikh on Monday alleged that he had to wait for nearly 90 minutes to get a wheelchair at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. He had gotten off a 12-hour long Air India flight from Melbourne. Aalam said he had informed Air India's cabin crew that he wanted his own wheelchair after landing but was provided one that was "uncomfortable" and sized XL.

"They (Air India) provided me a cabin wheelchair and later shifted to another wheelchair which was uncomfortable. I told the crew that I need my own wheelchair as I'm comfortable on that. They said I'll get it at the belt.I waited there for over an hour."

However, an Air India spokesperson said Aalam was provided with an aisle wheelchair "as per procedure from the aircraft as soon as the flight landed".

"His personal wheelchair arrived at the belt in a while after due security clearance. He was escorted by airport handling personnel throughout. The inconvenience caused by the delay, which was beyond our control, in the arrival of his wheelchair is regretted," said the spokesperson. 

"The wheelchairs at airports are big. Nobody can drive them on their own, they have to be pushed. How can I ask someone to come to the washroom? If other countries can provide their own wheelchairs, why are we not getting them in India? It's not the first time I have faced this, it has happened in the past on domestic flights," said Aalam, who tweeted about the issue.

(With ANI Inputs)

Also Read: Vistara fined Rs 10 lakh by DGCA for letting improperly trained pilot land flight at Indore airport

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