Airline to slap belligerent passengers who delay flights with hefty fines

Fliers who behave badly and cause flight delays will face hefty fines when flying Air India. 

After one too many incidents involving belligerent customers -- who also happened to be members of parliament -- Air India announced that unruly passengers who cause a flight delay of up to one hour will be slapped with a hefty $7,750 (5 lakh in rupees) fine.

That doubles to $15,500 (10 lakh rupees) for delays between one and two hours, and an eye-watering $23,260 (15 lakh rupees) for delays longer than two hours, reported The Times of India

The decision to impose hefty fines follows a spate of incidents involving aggressive and combative passengers against airport staff, three of which involved high-ranking politicians. 

Last month, a member of parliament was charged with assaulting a 60-year-old airline staffer with his slippers during an altercation that delayed an Air India flight. The politician was downgraded from business to economy class. 

Similar incidents involving assaults on airline staff and combative politicians have also made headlines recently, causing flight delays for the airline and fellow passengers. 

The airline is hoping the fines will serve as a deterrent and make passengers think twice before kicking up a disruptive fuss. 

Meanwhile, following the incident involving Ravindra Gaikwad and his slippers, the MP was temporarily put on a no-fly list. Air India lifted the ban earlier this month.