Paralympian Deepa Malik told to ‘chill’ on Vistara flight, airline staff rude and apologizes later

NEW DELHI,Oct6: “Sweetheart chill.” Deepa Malik, who made India proud by winning a silver medal at the recent Rio Paralympic, was stunned to hear these words from an airhostess when she called to inform her mother that the flight she was taking from Mumbai to Delhi on Tuesday was delayed. The sportsperson, who was on Vistara’s 3.35 pm UK 902, has complained that the airhostess spoke to her ‘rudely’ and that the “ill-mannered” crew did not know how to handle wheelchair-bound passengers.

Malik tweeted: “Cabin crew senior (member) was rude in the flight who told me to speak softly at a time when I called parents to inform delay in flight. On objecting, she says ‘sweetheart chill’. You do not talk to a passenger that when your flight is delayed. The boarding is still on. Plus wheelchair handling is so poor that you do not know how to shift a person from seat to cabin chair. The entire staff stands and looks at each other for 10 min. No action. Fragile packet received wet inspite of informing that it had delicate electronic and it has been sent on belt.”

Vistara tweeted an apology: “Ms Deepa Malik, the Paralympic silver medallist is a national hero and like every countrymen, we are immensely proud of her achievements…. We regret that we failed to deliver the standard of service that Vistara pride itself on in this instance. As a team we would like to sincerely apologise to Deepa for her disappointing experience… We are investigating the incident and will take corrective actions as soon as possible….”

According to airline officials, Malik’s flight to Delhi was delayed by 45 minutes. The Goa-Delhi-Mumbai flight was delayed due to bad weather in Delhi. The Gurgaon-based Deepa had gone to Mumbai to attend a programme with Sachin Tendulkar and Hrithik Roshan on Tuesday and was returning home when she had this experience on the flight.

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