Kerala guv misses AI flight: What’s the protocol for VIP travellers

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Old 24-Dec-2015
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Kerala guv misses AI flight: What’s the protocol for VIP travellers

Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam failed to board an Air India flight from Kochi to the state capital after the pilot reportedly refused to wait for the dignitary and took off.

Raj Bhavan sources said the Governor reached Nedumbassery International airport about 10 minutes before the flight was to depart at 11:40 PM yesterday, but the “step ladder had been removed and the flight was pushing back”.

As per the changed schedule, the governor reached the airport 10 minutes before the departure. However, airport authorities later said the flight took off even before the governor reached the airport.

What is the protocol to be followed

Being the first citizen of the state, the Governor can travel on his car till the tarmac area, ie ladder point. According to protocol he will be the last person to board the passenger aircraft. He and his wife are exempted from any security check. If the Governor is on the passenger list, it is the duty of the respective airline and ground staff to ensure his hassle-free boarding.

“The incident took place due to misunderstanding and communication gap between the airline and ground staff. We proceeded to the airport as per the direction given by the respective airline. When we reached the airport the aircraft left the parking bay and was on take-off mode,” a spokesman of the Raj Bhawan, who was with the Governor’s team, said.

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