Saturday, June 06, 2020

Air India sells over 22,000 tickets for west-bound Vande Bharat fights in 15 hours

New Delhi: Air India (AI) has sold over 22,000 seats in 15 hours of opening bookings for Vande Bharat Mission-III outbound flights to North America and Europe. The huge pent-up demand to travel out of India and these Air India flights being the only option this month at least, saw AI website getting crores of hits and people had a tough time trying to grab a seat.

“Sale of tickets commenced at 5 pm Friday for select destinations in USA, Canada, UK and Europe under Phase-3 of VBM. Our website experienced 6-7 times more activity. Over 22,000 seats have been sold overall till 8 am. More seats to more destinations will be added in due course,” AI Tweeted on 9.20 am Saturday.
But given the massive demand and tickets being sold on only AI channels, people faced a difficult time.

“What are these gimmicks ??? I have not been off my screen since 5 pm Friday, have not got any tickets.. where did you sell 22000 seat? Agents? Black marketers?” Chitrakasi Passi tweeted from her handle @PassiChitrakashi.
“Spent 15 hours, IP address blocked, 3 US credit cards declined, Customer service hung up after 2 hour wait. Twice….” tweeted Saurabh from handle @shssince1985.
The maximum demand is for flights to the US, with connections to San Francisco and Chicago being the most sought after there. A senior AI official said people should not panic. The website slowed down and many could not access it. “We will put more flights if required,” said a senior official.
06/05/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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