Air Asia management has categorically denied that it forced one cabin crew to apologize a passenger by means of prostrating before her and her autistic niece.
The incident occurred on September 2 and the incident was eventually posted on the social media and went wild sparking off dissenting comments against the woman passenger and also against a manager of the airline for allegedly forcing the crew to prostrate.
Many of the comments came from staff of Air Asia as they vented frustration on the social media against the passenger as well as the manager.
The incident has prompted Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandez to fly into Bangkok to personally assure the company’s Thai staff that is fair to its staff.
Tony Fernandez, accompanied by the airline’s Thai executives, will on Friday fly to Hat Yai to personally apologize to the air crew and her family over the unfortunate incident.
At a meeting with the Thai staff on Thursday, the CEO vowed to take responsibility for the incident and assured them that the management has always attached importance to its staff.
Mr Tassapol Belevelle, CEO of Thai Air Asia, said the airline did not force the crew member to prostrate in front of the passenger but it was the crew member herself to perform the prostration in order to end the dispute with the passenger.
The incident reportedly stemmed from the crew member who approached the passenger’s autistic daughter to offer help but her approach was mistaken by her mother that the crew mocked her daughter, demanding an apology from the crew.
It was reported in the social media that even though the crew had apologized and wai the passenger, the latter was not satisfied and demanded that she prostrated to apologize.
In the aftermath of the incident, Mr Tassapol said the airline would adjust the in-flight protocol regarding conflict between cabin crews and passengers by referring the incidents to the customer’s relations department.c
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)