Friday, May 29, 2020

Flyers cancelling tickets over quarantine worries

Air travel resumed after two months on May 25, but bookings are dicey, given the confusion over quarantining. Last-minute cancellation of flights is another major worry. The good news is that the fares haven’t spiked. But passengers are cancelling their tickets when they realise they may have to stay in quarantine for up to two weeks. A 14-day stay in a five-star quarantine hotel in Bengaluru adds up to Rs 49,700 (at Rs 3,550 a day), and passengers have to factor in the extra cost and time in when they plan their trips. At a budget hotel, two weeks comes to Rs 16,800.
Adding to their woes are last-moment flight cancellations. On the first day of flights resuming after two months, Delhi reported 80 flights were cancelled, with passengers coming to know of the cancellations only after reaching the airport. Air India has reportedly cancelled 92 flights between May 28 and June 1.
Many people are not willing to stay in quarantine and spend money on it, so they have cancelled their trips and decided to wait for the rules to change. Passengers must be informed about the quarantine rates for various categories before they start their journey, but it turns out the information isn’t shared in time for them to make informed decisions.
They have the liberty to choose their category of stay but can’t choose a particular hotel citing proximity to their living location, company policy or personal preference.  The passengers are given colour-coded coupons around the time of arrival to show where they stay: white for budget hotels, orange for three-star hotels and green for five-star hotels.
28/05/20 Anila Kurian/Deccan Herald
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