Vistara crew, Italian woman mid-air fight over seat puts spotlight on safety

During an argument, the Italian woman removed some of her clothes and walked up and down the aisle on an Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flight of Vistara.

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By: TNI Team
Updated: 03 February, 2023 11:06 am IST
Vistara crew, Italian woman
Despite purchasing ticket for economy, the woman wanted to sit in the business class.

A mid-age Italian woman has been arrested by police in Mumbai for allegedly spitting and assaulting crew members onboard an Abu Dhabi-Mumbai Vistara flight.

Paola Perruccio, 45, purchased an economy class ticket but was insisting on sitting in the business class in an inebriated condition on Monday, January 20.

When crew members asked her to go back to her seat, the woman allegedly punched a crew and spat on another as she walked around the plane in a partially naked state.

She allegedly stripped her clothes and littered the plane. Subsequently, she was tied to her seat by the cabin crew, according to the airline.

In a statement, Vistara – Group owned India’s full-service airline, described the behaviour of the woman passenger as “unruly” and “violent.”

The statement said that the flight captain first issued a warning card and then “made a decision to restrain the customer”.

“The pilot made regular announcements to assure the other customers onboard of their safety and security. In accordance with the guidelines and our stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs), the security agencies on-ground were informed to take immediate action upon arrival,” said Vistara.

Upon landing, the woman was arrested based on a complaint filed by an airline staff member in Mumbai. She was later released on bail by a local court.

A medical examination was also conducted on her before the police registered a case against her under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Her lawyer Prabhakar Tripathi said that she was “uncomfortable” in her allotted seat and “requested to be moved to a vacant seat”, leading to a “disagreement” with crew members, according to reports.

Her lawyer also alleged that she was not allowed to use the lavatory due to turbulence.

Tripathi said, “She was later allowed to go to the washroom but was tied up on return.” He also refuted claims that she was drunk during the incident.

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