A digital marketer based in Bengaluru has alleged that he was forced to leave behind his pet at the Bengaluru airport after he was refused permission to carry the fish on board a flight. Aqib Hussain was travelling from Bengaluru to Srinagar via Delhi on an early morning Air India flight earlier this month when the alleged incident took place. The airline, however, reportedly maintains that the water level in the container with the fish exceeded the permissible limit.
Hussain was flying back home on an emergency trip to meet his mother, according to a Times of India report.
Sharing the details, he tweeted, “I was not allowed to board a flight by flight ground staff and my boarding cards were stanched by one of higher rank official for carrying a live aquarium fish in a transparent container whose weight was 50 grams.@airindia staff forced me to through fish in dustbin (sic).”
I was not allowed to board a flight by flight ground staff and my boarding cards were stanched by one of higher rank official for carrying a LIVE aquarium fish in a transparent container whose weight was 50 grams.
@airindia staff forced me to through fish in dustbin 2/6
— Aqib Hussain (@askaqibhussain) March 21, 2023
The man was carrying a two-year-old Siamese fighter and the water in the container exceeded the permissible level of 100 ml, Times of India reported.
Calling it the “worst experience” of his life, Hussain said he was first told that a security personnel will check his pet fish and that later, he was asked to pay Rs 1,350 as carrying charges.
“I agreed. Finally they said captain is not allowing fish on the plane which was shocking for me,” he tweeted.
The man tagged Air India and Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons that owns the airline.
“…we all are well aware that sir @RNTata2000 is a pet lover. He can understand the pain of a losing a pet because of @airindiain Bangalore staff,” he wrote in the beginning of this thread.
"We tried explaining to him that the captain's clearance was final and that the water level in the box would not be cleared for flight. Even if it’s cleared, he will need to undergo another round of checks in Delhi. But he was not willing to listen to us and remained hysterical,” an Air India source told Times of India.
The airline officials handed over Hussain’s pet fish to his relative in Bengaluru and it is safe and healthy, the newspaper reported, quoting Air India sources. The fish will be reunited with him when he is back in the city.