Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was travelling to Delhi in the same flight.
Airport sources said that Lakshmi Devi, the mother, and her husband, Rahul, boarded the flight with their toddler along with 94 other passengers around 11.30 am on Monday.
After all the passengers had boarded the flight, the baby started crying continuously.
“Rahul and Lakshmi Devi tried to control the baby, but all their efforts went in vain. A few minutes before departure, the air hostesses requested the mother to get down from the aircraft along with the baby since other passengers are getting disturbed. Initially, they hesitated but later, Lakshmi Devi and the baby deboarded while the father continued his journey,” a source at the Chennai Airport said. The incident created a furore among other passengers, who blamed the airline staff for their alleged insensitivity.
Talking to DT Next, Chennai Airport Director Suneel Dutt clarified that there are no rules to deboard crying babies from an aircraft.
“Babies will always cry inside an aircraft due to various reasons and we never consider asking them to cancel travel plans," he added. If the baby keeps crying because she is ill, then the airlines shall consider offloading. But every airline has its own set of rules," he added.
When contacted, Ganesh, Vistara Airlines Manager, said that the passenger decided to deboard on her own and was not pressurised to do so. "We did not offload the woman from the aircraft. She decided not to fly since the baby was crying and she couldn't control her.” Sources said that they were were sent to Delhi in the evening flight.