Yet another instance of a deeply embarrassing diplomatic incident for India came to light in a Gulf country last week. Son of an IFS officer serving in a Gulf country was flying out to London on 18 September 2016 to join his engineering degree course in the UK. He created a huge scene lasting one hour at the airport for excess baggage. A crowd of more than 150 people gathered due to the huge ruckus, some bystanders were even seen video graphing his weird tantrums.
The Diplomat’s son was carrying 72 kg check-in baggage, 42 kg more than allowable weight. He was asked to pay $1,050/- for excess baggage at the rate of $25 per kg. He threw his weight around and browbeat airport employees. He threatened staff of dire consequences, repeatedly shouted at them, “don’t you know my father is Ambassador of India, I can get you removed from your job”. He was heard telling staff that even his flight ticket was complimentary as a courtesy to India’s Ambassador and hence excess baggage cannot be logically charged on a free ticket.
The Diplomat and accompanying protocol officer of Embassy made numerous phone calls to senior dignitaries of the country demanding free courtesies in view of “excellent multi-faceted and deep-rooted bilateral relations between the two countries”. Ultimately word reached top levels. CEO of the Airways intervened, asking the staff to waive off excess baggage to end huge row and embarrassment at the airport.