Visakhapatnam/New Delhi: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy on Thursday created a ruckus at the Visakhapatnam airport after he was denied a boarding pass for an IndiGo flight as he had showed up late. Following the incident, IndiGo and four other airlines barred him from travelling on their aircraft.
The lawmaker from Anantapur was also said to have damaged a printer and misbehaved with IndiGo airline staff.
The MP had reported at the check-in counter 28 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight against the regulation of 45 minutes. As the airline staff told him they cannot issue him a boarding pass, he got angry and entered into a heated argument with them.
Closed-circuit television footage aired on some television channels showed the TDP leader shouting at the airline staff as some security personnel tried to control him.
Interestingly, the MP managed to board the flight but it was not clear who intervened to get him the boarding pass.
Civil Aviation Minister and TDP leader Ashok Gajapathy Raju, who was present at the airport, claimed Reddy had reached the airport on time.
"Perhaps the flight was overbooked," the Minister said.
On its part, IndiGo confirmed the development and stated that Reddy, who was scheduled to fly with IndiGo 6E-608 to Hyderabad reported 28 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
"The staff politely informed him that boarding for flight 6E-608 is closed and offered to accommodate Reddy in the subsequent flight," IndiGo said in a statement.
"Reddy expressed his annoyance and soon raged against the staff using aggressive and abusive behaviour. IndiGo saw a footage aired by some media personnel -- which shows visual representation of Reddy's aggressive behaviour against the staff and further damaging the airport property."
IndiGo placed a ban on flying Reddy on late Thursday evening, this was followed by four more airlines -- Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir -- also barring him.
"The incident which occurred in Visakhapatnam is a matter of concern. As IndiGo has banned the MP to travel, so Air India has also barred him," said the national carrier's spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar.
In March, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was accused of assaulting an Air India staff, following which several airlines banned him from flying on their planes till he apologised.
Gaikwad later submitted a letter to the Aviation Minister to express 'regret', after which AI revoked the ban, followed by the Federation of Indian Airlines and other private airlines.
Following Gaikwad's incident, the Civil Aviation Ministry last month released the draft rules for a national 'no-fly list' that bans unruly passengers from domestic air travel.
The final guidelines are expected to be released by the end of June 2017.