On a Vistara flight (UK234) from Muscat to Dhaka via Mumbai on September 6, a 30-year-old Bangladeshi passenger was arrested for allegedly harassing and flashing the cabin crew.
According to reports, the man exited his seat 30 minutes before landing in Mumbai, forcibly hugged a 22-year-old female flight attendant, and attempted to kiss her. The situation escalated as other crew members and passengers intervened, at which point the man allegedly flashed the crew and passengers.
Arrest and legal proceedings
Upon landing in Mumbai, the man was offloaded from his onward flight to Dhaka. He was then arrested and taken into custody, while the Bangladeshi consulate was informed of the incident.
The man was presented in a Mumbai court on September 7, where his lawyer claimed that he suffers from mental health issues and cannot understand Hindi or English (which seems a very strange excuse for his behavior).
The Hindustan Times quotes a police officer detailing the events:
“Half an hour before the scheduled landing, as the 22-year-old flight attendant was completing the dinner service and came to [the accused’s] row, he jumped across from his seat and reached out to hug her and attempted to kiss her… He became abusive when the flight attendants asked him to return to his seat. Before fellow passengers could understand what was happening, the accused unzipped and flashed at the flight attendant.”
A troubling trend
This latest incident adds to a bizarre trend involving the behavior of passengers on Indian airlines. Just last month, another male passenger was apprehended for taking inappropriate photos and videos of a flight attendant on a SpiceJet flight. A few months earlier, a 51-year-old man was arrested in Bengaluru after using sexually explicit language and lewd gestures towards a flight attendant while onboard an IndiGo flight from Male in the Maldives. Most shockingly, in late November, a former Wells Fargo executive was arrested in New Delhi after urinating on an elderly woman while intoxicated on an Air India flight.
The arrest of a 30-year-old Bangladeshi man for harassing and flashing cabin crew on a Vistara flight on September 6 is the latest in a string of troubling incidents involving passenger misconduct on Indian airlines. From taking inappropriate photos to using sexually explicit language and even urinating on another passenger, these incidents underscore a strange and worrying trend that I hope will result in stricter safety measures and more vigilant enforcement of conduct rules on flights.