13/06/2015 2:48 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Passenger Spots Lizard In Air India Meal, Union Minister Says It's A Serious Issue


NEW DELHI — A passenger travelling to London on an Air India flight allegedly spotted a lizard on his meal tray prompting a series of disgusted reactions on social media but the national carrier has said there is "absolutely no truth" in the claim.

Air India has also said that the passenger did not file a complaint had with either the aircraft crew or station manager, according to IBNLive.

The report said the passenger refused the offer of the carrier to replace his tray and later filed a complaint with Air India.

"A passenger had asked for a special meal and so the flight attendant got his food tray from the galley. Soon after it was placed onto the tray, the passenger was heard screaming," the Times of India quoted an unnamed source as saying. The lizard was seen scurrying from under a burger, the report said.

News agency ANI quoted Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju as saying that "Air India is not expected to serve lizards, nor are cooks expected to cook lizards."

A cabin crew complained to TOI: "For months now, we have been complaining to the airline management that the galley carts are not cleaned properly, but to no avail."

In January this year, Reuters reported that Air India will cut its costs by 14 billion rupees ($227 million), or about 6 percent of its total outlays, in the next financial year after the government asked the loss-making airline to improve its finances.

Air India, which controls close to a fifth of India's domestic air travel market, has been losing money for years and has long been criticised for its high costs. In 2012, the government handed the company a $5.8 billion bailout package. (With inputs from Reuters)

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