The airline said the spill occurred as the "child was playful during the service".
Ordering a cup of hot chocolate on a flight turned into a traumatic experience for a 10-year-old after the beverage was accidentally spilled on her by a cabin crew member. The child allegedly suffered second-degree burns on her left leg.
The incident took place on an Air Vistara flight from Delhi to Frankfurt on August 11 and the family has alleged that the airline did not apologise or pay for the medical costs. The airline has, however, clarified that its teams have been in touch with the family throughout, their return to India has been facilitated, and that all medical expenses will be borne by it.
Rachna Gupta, who was travelling on the flight to Frankfurt with her daughter, Tara, also claimed that they missed their connecting flight to Lisbon because of the incident. Ms Gupta said that while a paramedic administered immediate first aid to Tara and the airline arranged an ambulance for them, they didn't get an apology and had to foot the high medical costs.
"@airvistara air hostess causes 2nd degree burn to 10 year old on flight to Frankfurt.
An unfortunate accident poorly handled. Vistara hostess didn't apologize, captain or crew members didn't apologize," Ms Gupta posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"After basic first aid on flight my daughter and I were left in an ambulance to fend for ourselves (pay for ambulance / navigate the German medical emergency services) in an unfamiliar environment. Our luggage had to be taken out by friend of a friend who made 3 trips to the airport and spent 4-5 hours pillar to post," she added.
Ms Gupta said she had to pay the ambulance bill of 503 Euros as well as the hospital bill. She said they missed their connecting flight and alleged that the airline did not make efforts to arrange an alternate flight for them. She claimed that the airline did get in touch with her, but only after her post.
In a detailed statement, Air Vistara clarified that they have already facilitated the mother and daughter's return to India and are reviewing their processes to ensure such situations are avoided in the future.
"We confirm an unfortunate incident occured onboard UK25 flying from Delhi to Frankfurt on 11 August, 2023, where a child sustained injuries due to spillage of hot beverage on the body. Our cabin crew had served hot chocolate to the child on the request of her parents, however, the hot water spilled on her since the child was playful during the service," the airline's statement said.
The airline said that the girl was given first-aid and support was sought from a paramedic onboard, who volunteered to assist until the flight landed in Frankfurt. Medical care was also ensured upon landing by arranging an ambulance for the child and sending her and her mother to a hospital, it said.
"Our teams have been in touch with the customer ever since. We have already facilitated their early return to India, arranged for ground transportation in Frankfurt, met them at the airport and extended extensive on-ground support. We have conveyed to the customer that all medical expenses arising from this incident will be reimbursed by us," said the statement.
Air Vistara reiterated that it continues to be in touch with family to provide any assistance that is needed.
"We are also reviewing and refining our processes, wherever required, to ensure such situations are avoided in the future. As always, safety and comfort of our customers is of utmost importance to us," it said.