The national carrier is considering a fine of Rs 5 lakh for a delay of up to one hour, 10 lakhs for one to two hours and 15 lakhs for a hold-up of more than two hours, Press Trust of India has quoted airline sources as saying. Suggested new guidelines also arm Air India's airport managers with more powers to deal with unruly passengers.
After failing to get on a flight after the incident, Mr Gaikwad said in parliament that he was apologising but not to Air India. On written instructions from the civil aviation ministry, Air India removed its ban on the lawmaker but stressed that it is "committed to ensuring its employees are not assaulted or misbehaved with." The airline also said that it would take strong action to preserve the dignity of its employees.
A day after the ban on Mr Gaikwad was removed, another parliamentarian, Dola Sen of Trinamool Congress, delayed a flight by nearly 40 minutes because she was not given the exit row seat she had booked. According to airline officials, she screamed and shouted at the cabin crew.
The aviation regulator has started work on rules for a national No-Fly List that will help airlines deny tickets to passengers with a poor track record. Current rules only empower airlines to stop passenger from boarding a flight over security concerns or to off-load the passenger for endangering flight safety.