Monday, March 23, 2020

Air tickets hard to cancel

With the government asking people to avoid unnecessary travel, many who had booked air tickets are trying to cancel their tickets. But that is not easy.
Many airlines are refusing refunds and urging passengers to change their travel dates, and pay higher fares.
“We had planned a family trip, and we had booked tickets on different airlines as we were coming from different places. It has been difficult just getting through to customer care,” says Sneha J, event planner, living in Halasuru.
She had approached an airline seeking a cancellation a week ago, and was told to wait as she could cancel her trip free of cost for up to four hours before the flight. However, she says, the airline is not complying with her request now.
“With a second airline, it took me three days just to get through. They would just not agree to a cancellation…. they just kept pushing for rescheduling. They said since they haven’t cancelled their flights, and are not going to refund the amount. What I don’t understand is how they can force us to pay for a flight that could potentially put our lives at risk. The manager told me the situation would change in four to five months, citing the ebola pandemic,” she says.
Sneha is not the only one. Many angry customers have turned to social media to vent their anger. Some can’t travel because they are elderly, and hence more susceptible to the Covid-19 virus. Airlines aren’t waiving their cancellation fee in most cases. Airlines respond with the same generic responses, or not respond at all, leaving passengers anxious.  “I understand their situation, but this is not the time to think of profit. Besides, you can’t just line your pockets with other people’s hard-earned money," says another passenger trying to get a refund.
22/03/20 Krupa Joseph/Deccan Herald
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