Double Trouble

Watch: Passengers and airline staff are scuffling in an airport, and it’s not in India

Three passengers were arrested after the scene turned ugly.

Passengers at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were in for a rude surprise as a scuffle broke out after multiple Spirit Airlines flights were cancelled. Three travellers were arrested after a confrontation with the airline employees and sheriff’s deputies turned ugly.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the arrests were only made after angry customers yelled and threatened airline employees, leading to chaos and unrest in a crowd of around 500 people at the airport.

Flight-tracking site Flight Aware indicated that as many as 11 flights were cancelled at the airport, and 30, delayed, on Monday.

This has added to Spirit Airline’s many woes. The airline has also filed a lawsuit against the Air Line Pilots Association International, which looks after Spirit’s pilots. The group has been accused of intentionally causing a slowdown and encouraging pilots to refuse last-minute shifts, leading to too many cancellations and messing up the travel plans of many passengers.

The union denied the allegations, calling the lawsuit “unwarranted and counterproductive.” A US federal judge issued a temporary restraining order in the case on Tuesday, forbidding the union from encouraging disruption of normal pilot operations. The union said it would follow the order, “which is completely in line with our overriding goal: the resumption of normal operations.”

Several people voiced their displeasure on Twitter, criticising both the passengers and the airline – which is not new to controversy – for the incident.

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Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

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Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.