Shiv Sena’s grounded MP Ravindra Gaikwad is now trying his luck with private airlines.
On Saturday, he booked a SpiceJet flight to fly from Pune to Ahmedabad on Monday (April 3) night. The low cost carrier’s reservation system immediately flagged the passenger name “Mr Ravindra Gaikwad” and the ticket was promptly cancelled, a SpiceJet spokesman said. The MP had paid Rs 4,504 to fly SG 524 at 8.40 pm on Monday.
The MP, who was grounded last Friday , has till now made at least five failed attempts to fly AI and one each on IndiGo and SpiceJet. “Trying to book tickets and virtually saying ‘jaane (udne) bhi do yaaron’ is not going to work for him. All schedule airlines have sounded an alert for all possible permutations and combinations of the titles and short forms of his name. He has to apologise, express remorse for what he did,” said a senior official of a private airline.
Airlines are unanimous is seeing Gaikwad as a potentially unruly and unsafe passenger who can be a threat to crew members, co-passengers and flight safety. “What beats us is that people who misbehave with crew are handed over to security agencies and many end up in prison. Here the only action against Gaikwad has been by airlines grounding him. The police and political class is yet to do anything. It is very demoralising for us,” said an official of another airline.
Gaikwad is the first person ever to be grounded by schedule carriers in India. In the interest of safety, airlines want the government to quickly come out with a no fly list to keep such flyers from boarding aircraft. The Shiv Sena has requested Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to get Gaikwad flying again.