'The ground staff misbehaved with Sindhu while handling her kit bag. Sindhu had requested him to handle it with care as there were racquets inside but the person behaved rudely.'
Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu on Saturday accused an Indigo ground staff of misbehaving with her while travelling from Hyderabad to Mumbai, even as the airline rejected the celebrated shuttler's allegations.
World number two Sindhu claimed that the staff behaved rudely with her and an airhostess intervened to advise him against doing so.
"Ground staff (skipper) Mr Ajeetesh behaved very badly and rudely with me. When the air hostess Ms Ashima tried to advise him to behave properly with the passenger (me), but to my surprise he behaved very rudely with her. If these type of people work for a reputed airline like Indigo they will spoil their reputation," Sindhu tweeted.
The champion shuttler added, "Sorry to say ..i had a very bad experience??when i was flying by 6E 608 flight to bombay on 4th nov the ground staff by name Mr ajeetesh."
The airline issued a prompt response and backed its employee for "keeping calm", saying that the staff was only doing his job.
"Ms P V Sindhu boarded flight 6E608 Hyderabad - Mumbai last carrying oversized baggage which was not fitting into the overhead bin. Ms Sindhu was informed that it will be moved to cargo hold of the aircraft. This is the same policy we follow for all customers," the airline said in a statement.
The ground staff apparently objected to her carrying her kit-bag which had her racquets inside it. She normally carries them as hand luggage and it was learnt that the staffer told her to get rid of her kit-bag very rudely.
But the airline stated, "Oversized baggage inside the cabin inconveniences other customers and can also be a safety hazard if it cannot be secured properly in the cabin. During the entire conversation, the member of the IndiGo ground operations remained calm.
"After several requests to her manager, they finally consented to the removal of the bag from the cabin. We then placed the over-sized baggage in the cargo hold and was handed over to Ms Sindhu on arrival."
However, Sindhu's father, who was also travelling with her, said the ground staff was at fault.
"The ground staff misbehaved with Sindhu while handling her kit bag. Sindhu had requested him to handle it with care as there were racquets inside but the person behaved rudely.
"The air hostess tried to interfere but he was also rude to her. One should not behave with a lady like that, so Sindhu tweeted. She was hurt," Sindhu's father Ramana said.
Sindhu is one of the country's most decorated sportspersons having won an Olympic silver medal besides bagging three World Championship medals.
The airline further said while it is proud of Sindhu's sporting achievements, safety of the passengers is of paramount importance.
"Safety of our operations is paramount to IndiGo. We hope that Ms Sindhu will appreciate that our colleague was only carrying out his duty in the best interest of a safe and reliable operation."