Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hyderabad: Vande Bharat flights hit social distancing air pocket

Hyderabad: Some passengers flying into the city on Vande Bharat Mission flights have complained of lack of social distancing norms on board. Having paid almost double the airfare, some say they expected better social distancing norms.

While grateful for having reached India, Vinod Sundarraj, who arrived in the city on Monday from the US, said he paid Rs 1 lakh to get to India. “I initially thought they are charging double because the flight was coming empty from India and there would be social distancing. But it was a disappointment to see the flight was completely packed and had carried passengers from India to the US, so it was not empty both ways.” Average fare from the US to India would be in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 one way in the pre-lockdown era.

Sundarraj, who is among 10 people from Tamil Nadu who flew into the city and will be quarantined here, is waiting to head to his state. “We are looking for clarity as to how we will travel home after quarantine ends. I am waiting to see my daughter, who was born on April 17 in Coimbatore,” he added.

Bothered by the fare, Srinivas (name changed) also arrived in Hyderabad on Monday. “Everyone feels that if we can pay to travel abroad, we are privileged and can pay the higher fares. But we have put in our savings to meet family in the US. The quarantine cost —though not high — is an added burden.”
17/05/20 Times of India

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