Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Missed flight? You’ll lose tickets for next legs too

Mumbai: There are a number of ways by which air travel can turn into a nightmare, but not many would list multiple tickets booked under a single PNR (passenger name record) as one of them. Most people are not aware that if one misses the first flight, the airline cancels all the subsequent tickets under the same PNR. Recently, a city NGO learnt the hard way that there were huge costs to bear even if the passenger was a legal luminary and could not take the first flight because he was unwell.
Justice Dalveer Bhandari, the Indian member of the International Court of Justice, was invited recently by Harmony Foundation as the guest of honour and keynote speaker at the Mother Teresa Awards in December. The NGO booked business class tickets between Amsterdam (the ICJ is based in The Netherlands) and Mumbai for Bhandari, and his return flight was routed through Delhi. After the programme, he could not take the first Mumbai-Delhi flight.
To their horror, the NGO found that the Delhi-Amsterdam ticket, booked under the same PNR, had been cancelled too. "To re-issue the January 9 Delhi-Amsterdam ticket, Jet has again quoted an exorbitant sum," said Abraham Mathai, chairman of Harmony Foundation. He added: "Justice Bhandari reached Mumbai on December 9. He was booked on a December 13 Mumbai-Delhi Jet flight and then on a January 9 Delhi-Amsterdam Jet flight.
But since he was unwell, he couldn't travel on December 13 and we were forced to rebook him on another flight on December 15, as Jet Airways demanded an exorbitant penalty to change the Mumbai-Delhi ticket to a later date." All of Justice Bhandari's tickets (Amsterdam-Mumbai; and Mumbai-Delhi-Amsterdam) were booked under a single PNR. When he didn't board the Mumbai-Delhi flight, the airline cancelled the onward flight to Amsterdam as well.
The NGO claimed that Jet was informed in advance that Justice Bhandari wouldn't board the Mumbai-Delhi flight and their travel agent was in "negotiations" with Jet to rebook him on a December 15 flight. "Jet was told several times by the travel agent that Justice Dalveer Bhandari cannot travel due to his ill health," said Mathai. For reasons unknown, the agent, who was in constant touch with Jet, apparently did not cancel the Mumbai-Delhi ticket. On December 13, when Justice Bhandari didn't turn up for the flight, Jet marked him as "no-show" and went on to cancel his Delhi-Amsterdam ticket too.
03/01/18 Manu V/Times of India