'Drunk' woman verbally abuses Air India crew after being denied glass of wine, held at London's Heathrow airport

A woman passenger aboard a New Delhi-London Air India flight, verbally abused a cabin crew member after she was denied another serving of alcohol on-board the flight. The woman was reportedly under the influence of alcohol, when the incident took place, an airline official said Wednesday.

The woman has been identified as Simone O’Broin, 50, a human rights lawyer, reported MailOnline. She is said to have been returning from a two-month break in Goa when the incident took place.

O’Broin, who was born in Belfast, trained as a lawyer in the UK, and worked in Palestine. She has worked for BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency in Bethlehem.

A video of the incident, which took place on 10 November, was shared by ANI in which the woman can be seen misbehaving with the crew aboard Air India flight AI 131.

In the video, O’Broin can be heard saying, "I am working for all your people...for you, an international criminal lawyer. Don't get any money for it, by the way. But you can't give me a ... glass of wine, is that correct?"

The video also shows that the cabin crew and other passengers remaining calm, and not reacting to the woman's rant. The cabin crew informed the flight commander about the passenger's unruly behaviour, and were told not to serve her more drinks, the official said.

Air India filed an FIR against O’Broin and she was taken into custody on landing at London's Heathrow airport, the official said.

However, this is not the first such incident involving an unruly passenger. Previously too, Air India has been faced with situations wherein the airline had to apologise for the inconvenience caused to other passengers because of one unruly passenger.

On 30 August, a drunk passenger aboard AI 102, travelling from New York to New Delhi, urinated on a woman’s seat during a flight. The incident went viral after the woman's daughter Indrani Ghosh tweeted about the incident. She said that she was not given any help when she called the airline to make a complaint, and was told to go to the website and submit feedback online.

In a separate incident in March 2017, Ravindra Gaikwad of the Shiv Sena was banned from flying by six airlines after he assaulted a senior Air India official with his slippers. He was angry over the airline shifting him from business class to economy on a flight going from Pune to New Delhi. But his name was struck off the “no-fly” list 10 days ago after political intervention.

According to International Air Transport Association — a global airlines' trade body — between 2007 and 2016, over 58,000 incidents involving disruptions by passengers were reported on aircrafts in-flight. These incidents include violence against the crew and other passengers, harassment and failure to follow the safety instructions.

The civil aviation ministry guidelines issued in September 2017 provide for barring a passenger indulging in unruly behaviour from flying for a period ranging from three months to lifetime, the official said.

Aviation regulator DGCA is supposed to maintain the record of all such blacklisted passengers, he said, adding the quantum of punishment is based on the severity of the offence, which has been divided into three categories. "The no-fly list is applicable only if the incident is inside an aircraft which could adversely affect the safety of the plane and its occupants.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 10:36:14 IST