Air India Warns That Vigilantes Are Ostracizing Crews

Filed Under: Air India

Air India has posted a press release on Twitter. No, in this case it isn’t one of the usual stories of Air India being a basket case, but rather the airline is asking people to stop treating their crews unfairly in light of the current situation.

Air India has been operating rescue flights

Like many airlines, Air India has been operating all kinds of evacuation flights to get Indian nationals out of foreign countries — they’ve operated such flights to Wuhan, Milan, Rome, and more.

The airline says that they’ve taken every precaution with these flights, including gloves masks, hand sanitizer, and more.

Furthermore, those crews that operated these flights are sent home to self quarantine, and are also sent to hospitals for check-ups as part of the standard protocol.

Air India notes that these employees have been acting selflessly to operate these flights, and calls their efforts “heroic.” But not everyone agrees, apparently.

Air India crews being ostracized by “vigilantes”

According to this press release, some Air India employees who worked these flights have been ostracized by local vigilantes. As the press release explains:

However, it is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations and neighbours have started ostracizing the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty. These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear one have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries, thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew.

We would like to appeal to all concerned, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that our crew are treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves especially in light of the fact of their having undertaken flight duties to affected countries to bring back Indian citizens.

Bottom line

I have a hard time even imagining how douchebag-ey some are being to try and obstruct these Air India crews and call the cops on them. It sounds like Air India is following all normal protocols and is having their employees quarantine, so the last thing they need is people making a fuss out of nothing.

Always be kind to airline employees… especially during these times!

  1. Im not at all surprised by this. Happened to my niece too in her locality 3 days ago after she returned home from Switzerland. As a responsible teenager she’s self isolating at home yet the people want her locked up in a jail or hospital room. Welcome to India where we politicise EVERYTHING including something as serious and unprecedented as what is happening today. Welcome to the world of mass ‘CovIdiots’

  2. Most people do have a tendency to point out flaws about Air India (not denying that the airline does need improvement) when they get the chance, but they never realize that it is only this 1 airline that mounts all repatriation and rescue operations when Indian citizens are stuck abroad.

    Kindness and compassion for most of these people commenting is limited and lacking just as their common sense and humanity.

  3. These people deserve to be rewarded and commended for doing with did. Well done to air India too. I wore a mask when I returned to Australia last week from Singapore. Conflicting info on whether it helps or not. I have noticed people in Australia (airport and my appt) freak when they see you so helps social distancing too.
    Night 5 of mandatory self isolation completed. No fever or other symptoms. Will still isolate once my 14 days it up but at least I can go for a walk outside (my local park is always quit). Stay safe.

  4. I agree with Lucky. We need to be respectful and kind to one another. This reminds me of the horrible treatment and discrimination that Asians and Asian-Americans are facing, right now. During this epidemic, racism and prejudice is at its ugliest stage and I hope it does not get any worse like going from violence toward the unspeakable. I am hoping for the best in humanity.

  5. India is stamping people with a wrist stamp to declare them as people who should be self-quarantining — perhaps that’s giving it away.

    There was a recent domestic flight out of DEL where passengers refused to fly with other passengers who had just arrived internationally and had the stamp.

  6. Air India is the pride of India and should be given accolades. How can India call itself a space-exploring nation when the nation can’t even respect the national airline and its employees. No other nation would go out to retrieve stranded Indian nationals! Be rational, be respectful.

  7. I’ve been self-isolating since I came back from the UK/France/Germany but my neighbours called the health department on me so they’d come and enforce some kind of stricter quarantine.
    They use a regular ink pad though so the stamp disappeared as soon as I washed my hands…

  8. Nothing about India is ever truly surprising.

    I’m being “ostracized” by my daughters for another week after my return from overseas, including a week in India.

  9. My Indian friend’s great-grandfather was ostracized for several years after returning from post-graduate studies in England, because it was forbidden at that time to cross the “black water”. This was around 1920.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  10. I would just be like “we’re not flying anymore” and I would forward all inquiries from stranded Indians to these vigilantes.

  11. @Lucky – one correction. Air India is also supporting the evacuation of foreign nationals where appropriate. My cousin, from Sri Lanka, was one of the students stuck in Wuhan. Air India evacuated him and a couple dozen other foreign nationals who had no alternatives. My family is grateful to AI for their courageous action.

    To all those pointing to this ostracizing as an Indian epidemic – the same is happening to my friend, a UA FA, in New York by those in her building. Fear is hardly an isolated epidemic.

  12. I’m always at awe of how a mismanaged airline such as Air India is often at the front-line of refugee repatriation during so many global situations.

    Anyways, as an update regarding India: India will be closed from the outside world as of 1200 am tonight. In addition, domestic air travel will be halted starting 1200 am tonight. In other words, this is the first time that India has shut all modes of mass transport within the country and many districts are under enforced curfew as the country strives to limit the number of Corona cases, currently at just under 500.

  13. India has always been sort of chaotic, but the forces of extremism are more powerful there than ever before; and vigilante action by xenophobic and otherwise bigoted Indian mobs and individuals has become so ordinary and tolerated in India with even the Indian police in the capital city committing crimes and providing cover for criminals favored by the central government’s ruling party.

    Airline employees, healthcare workers and minorities in India will need to be extra careful at this time especially. India is not a tolerant, liberal democracy today; it is a mobocracy, where the ways of an angry mob are welcomed by the leadership and the majority are encouraged to behave like a mob and act like vigilantes and stormtroopers on behalf of the ruling party.

    The ruling party in India was built by admirers of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. So it should be a surprise that in India today the “cosmopolitan” and “servants of the cosmopolitan” have become “the enemy”, “the cancer”, the “termites” subject to prejudice and worse.

  14. Orthodox majority popular belief in India was that for an Indian to leave India meant the person was an outcaste, an untouchable, upon return to India. This kind of belief didn’t manage to remain so much when the Indians who went abroad ended up being financially and otherwise better off than the majority of the Indians who never left India.

    A lesson into how money and power get people to adjust their beliefs over time.

  15. @GUWonder – I am sorry but am I missing something? What you describe fits the nature of the people at most of the democracy loving nations that I have visited in the last half decade. In that respect, the “mobocracy” in India is nothing unique.

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