Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travel document missing, boy left alone at airport

A businessman, who recently underwent an angioplasty, was in for a shock when he learnt in the dead of night that his six-yearold son headed for a trip to South Africa with his brother's family was barred from flying and had to be abandoned at Mumbai international airport due to an alleged goof-up of travel papers.
Piyush Thakker, owner of a renowned advertising agency called MAD, has blamed the travel agency that arranged the trip for the fiasco, which caused his son, Jay, to be stranded alone at the airport while his uncle's family took the flight.
Thakker has issued a legal notice to Heena Tours and Travels, seeking compensation and also a free 12-day trip to South Africa for Jay during his Diwali holidays.
According to Thakker, he had originally planned the vacation for himself, wife Falguni and Jay. He also decided to take his brother's 12-year-old son Rishi with them and approached called Heena Tours and Travels.
"We got to know from them that the South Africa Rules are a little different and strict, as compared to other countries, especially concerning kids. We completed all necessary formalities as Rishi was travelling without his parents. We were supposed to leave on May 19. All of a sudden, on April 18, I had to undergo angioplasty at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and was advised complete rest. I was also told not to take any stress for 3 months and not to travel. Hence, Icancelled my and wife's tickets, while my brother Manish and his wife decided to go in our place," said Piyush, adding that they took a call that Jay would travel with Manish and his family.
"So, now we had to do the entire procedure of parental consent at the SA consulate as my son was travelling without us," he said.
According to Thakker's complaint, the family received the four passports, ticket copies and itinerary copy around 11.30 am on the day of travel. When they reached the airport, Rishi and Jay, who were very excited, headed with the rest of the group to the counter of the airline in which they were flying.
But Manish was shocked to learn that Jay could not fly as his parents were not travelling with him and also because, he did not have the required documents. The travel agent had forgotten to send the required affidavit, which was mandatory for a child travelling without his parents, said Thakker.
Manish and his wife pleaded the airline authorities to let Jay travel with them, but they refused to budge, he added.
As time ran out, Manish had to take an immediate decision of dropping Jay out and proceeding with the trip as the check-in counter was closing.
30/05/17 Nazia Sayed/Mumbai Mirror