Union minister faces wrath of passengers for flight delay

NEW DELHI
22 Nov 2017

Union minister K J Alphons said today he was not responsible for delay of a flight after a purported video of a passenger arguing with him at the Imphal airport went viral. A video on Tuesday shows a passenger who had to attend a funeral in Patna, complaining to Alphons about the flight being delayed due to VIP movement.  President Ram Nath Kovind was scheduled to arrive at the Manipur capital to inaugurate the Northeast Development Summit and several Union ministers too were participating in it.
"Three flights were delayed because of VVIP movement as the President's flight was scheduled to arrive. Air traffic was affected for nearly two hours," an official at Imphal airport said. "I have to reach Patna. The body is waiting, otherwise the body will decay. I am a doctor, I know that. The body is still at home," a woman can be heard pleading with Alphons, who maintains his calm.
According to Alphons, he approached a woman crying at the airport and could be seen in the video losing her cool. "She was crying and I wanted to know what happened. She started saying that she had to go to Patna to attend a relative's funeral which was scheduled in the afternoon. She was distraught because her flight was delayed and she feared the body will decay. "As a representative of government of India, she wanted me to intervene," Alphons told PTI, amid allegations that he was the cause of the delay of the flight.
The Union tourism minister was accompanied by commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha and senior BJP leader Ram Madhav. "I can understand her anguish but as I told her, the President's flight was landing and as per protocol no other flight can land or take off at that time.”This protocol is in place for the past 70 years and not made by this government. I tried to tell her that her flight will leave as soon as the President's flight lands, but she was really in distress," Alphons said. (PTI)