India’s Jet Airways has been fined for an alleged policy not to serve alcohol to women on its flights. The Indian consumer court awarded only 50,000 rupees ($925) to the Canadian woman, Mrs. Jennifer Robinson, but it is the policy that strikes me as truly bizarre.
The Canadian woman asked for a “rum drink” on a flight from Bangkok to Delhi with her family in 2009. Ms. Robinson works at the Canadian High Commission in Delhi and was not going to let such a ridiculous rule pass unchallenged to her credit.
Delhi District Consumer Forum President CK Chaturvedi found that the refusal caused “mental agony, humiliation, insult” — not to mention a rum deficit.
The question I have is how any airline could impose such a policy in the modern age. Jet Airways is the largest Indian airline and operates over 400 flights daily to 76 destinations worldwide. I would be surprised that this is a general policy since most passengers who be in full riot if told that women are barred from ordering alcohol drinks. Yet, the flight attendant stated this as a policy of the airline, according to the complaint. My real question is why the airline would challenge such a case. In an effort to save $900, Jet Airways has purchased millions of dollars of bad press. One has to wonder about the legal logic of counsel and management for this airline.