Friday, May 17, 2019

Fliers oppose bookings on a grounded aircraft

Pune: A group of city residents has decided to take on a website agent and airline for booking them on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight, a model that has been grounded since March.
 The four customers had booked the tickets through from Pune to Srinagar via Ahmedabad on April 22 for a trip scheduled on June 4.
 However, on May 6, the airline SpiceJet sent an email informing them the flight from Ahmedabad to Srinagar was cancelled due to the grounding of the aircraft. “The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was grounded in March, then why did the airline and the website allow booking of the tickets on such an aircraft a month after the incident,” said Nitin Bhujbal.
 Bhujbal booked the journey along with three others as part of a recreational trip planned a couple of months ago. Bhujbal said the MakeMyTrip employees refused to cooperate when the issue was brought up.
 “The staff in Pune said they could not help as the bookings were done online and that we would have to approach the head office,” he said, adding that representatives of the company on phone only agreed to pay the compensation for Pune to Ahmedabad.
 “How could a cancellation fee be deducted when it was not our fault? When we found out that Boeing 737 MAX 8 was already grounded, we felt that the move to cancel the flights at last moment was deliberate and aimed at earning more profit after the flights are rescheduled at higher rates,” Bhujbal added. Someshwar Balgude, general secretary, Pune City Congress Committee, said he had faced a similar issue.
 “The airline and website agent should have removed the listings and route when the aircraft were not functional. This is pure cheating and siphoning off money at the expense of customers,” he said. 17/05/19 Himanshu Nitnaware/Pune Mirror
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