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Reference no. 519-0016-1
Prize winner
Compact case
Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
IBS Center for Management Research (2019)
5 pages
Data source:
Published sources


This case is about an incident in which a passenger of Indigo Airlines, a private carrier in India, was assaulted and manhandled by the airline's staff in October 2017. There was a public backlash against the company when a video clip was telecast across the national media on November 7 showing the passenger being manhandled by the airline's staff. The video was filmed by an IndiGo staffer who was later fired. But the harm had already been done. The video clip found its way to media houses and was also widely shared across various social media channels. Following this, there was a huge public outcry over the incident that left the company and its President and Wholetime Director, Aditya Ghosh, red-faced. IndiGo went into damage control mode and suspended the two ground staff directly involved in the manhandling incident. The company also apologized for their action. It also sacked the cargo staff member who had filmed the incident, reportedly for instigating the others. But this failed to pacify the other passengers and the general public who called for a boycott of IndiGo, saying that its market leadership in India had made it complacent and there had been many incidents of employees behaving harshly toward passengers. The challenge before Ghosh was how to manage the crisis, regain customer confidence, and ensure that such incidents were not repeated in the future.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


Consumer behaviour in services; Service provision as drama; Service roles and scripts; Servicescape; Emotions and moods in services; Positive and negative biases; Brand loyalty; Customer expectations; Service encounters; Service recovery; Crisis management; Airlines; India; IndiGo


The events covered by this item took place in 2018-2019.

Geographical setting


Featured company

Company name:
Indigo Airlines

Featured protagonist

  • Aditya Ghosh (male), President and Wholetime Director

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Awards, prizes & competitions

2019 - The Case Centre Awards - Outstanding Compact Case Competition winner

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